Saturday, July 28, 2018

Friday, July 27

Friday is the end of most work weeks, and so it was for us.  Scattered cumulus clouds and somewhat increased humidity greeted us outside.  Sometimes (actually usually) I am surprised by how warm/hot it feels outside, compared to the always cool AC inside. 

   And before I forget again, let me now say “thank you much” to our Katie for making the Appreciation Poster for our gracious hosts Parkway Church yesterday for us all to sign.  Great job!  Let me also thank everyone for taking such great photos, snapping pictures left and right.  We all had a hand in making the week better for us all, so let me say for everyone how much we needed the efforts of each individual, living together as one loving Christian community.  Especially the work that we came here to do:  fixing up broken homes (and hence broken lives) in weather conditions that we definitely were not used to and which could make anyone extra cranky.  Overall, I am very impressed and pleased at how nice we all were.

   Once again we broke up into 2 groups.  The first group went to finish the job started yesterday at the Rockport house, the one very close to the coastline– finish up the second coat of blue paint on the one side, and brush on white paint to the window and door trim.  Since the weather would again soon be hot and humid, they left the church at 6:30 AM.  While a second group, comprised of me and others, got to sleep in, since we did not leave Parkway until 9:15 (were we lucky or what?!)  Since House #1 was not ready today for more volunteers, we had a special task – to help out at the local Coastal Bend Food Bank, located in an industrial section of Corpus Christi.  It was nestled amongst warehouses, small factories and businesses, restaurants, and even a few hotels (they seem to be everywhere.)  Once inside the facility we were warmly greeted by Vanessa.  After donning visitor name badges and signing in, Vanessa separated us into two groups and showed us what to do.  We were able to help-out by unloading big boxes (like the watermelon boxes at grocery stores) full of assorted food products and repackaging them into smaller banana boxes until the scales said they weighed a certain amount.  These then were put on a pallet and then, once four high, were ready to be moved, and eventually be given to individual families.  Our group was prepared to stay until 3 PM, but since another volunteer group from a local drink distributor was scheduled to come in, we had to leave at 1PM. 

   So what to do while on “vacation” far from home on a nice day?  Shopping, of course.  Some of the members of the second group had been to the Lexington or Aquarium on Wednesday, so had been able to spot 2 cool gift shops for tourists like us nearby.  And luckily they gave good driving directions because there was ample road construction in that area, which could make it confusing how to get in and out of there.  Once we arrived back at Parkway with all our newly bought goodies, we found that the first group had already returned safe and sound.  Praise the Lord for all our safe travels this week.  The vans especially seemed not to handle the bumps and unevenness of the streets, i.e. a bumpy ride for all those aboard.

   After a busy week I must admit that I took my only afternoon nap today.  Whereas some of the rest of the group went to the local public beach to swim and tan.  One poor girl fell asleep and ended up with a very tanned back.  Ouch!!  Speaking of you kids, great job this whole week.  All of us adults are very proud of you.  In tonight’s devotions led by Pastor Doug we talked about our time together, like the highlight of the week (mine was my impromptu birthday party.)  All the young people said nice things, but not what I was expecting.  And I thought that the number one favorite thing would be no parents, bedtime curfews, and that kind of thing.  A personal reflection of mine is the fact I did get some ample sleep at night despite all the crickets and katydids in our room, in other words the squeaky/creaky cots and the snorers.

   Other interesting comments tonight included Tori’s: “We are all broken and scarred.”;  “Seven churches came together as one loving Christian community;” “We all have a right for a habitable home,”  which was one possible definition of the term “promotion of social righteousness” which is from the Synod’s suggested reflections for our mission trip.

   Prayer concerns: Everybody pray that our plane flights are just as uneventful as the first two.  And Maddi, who is here beside me tonight, says pray for her friend Brooke that was supposed to be on the mission trip, but due to an unfortunate accident could not be here.  After reading these blog notes I’m sure she must be sad but so proud of us and our accomplishments.

  Old Union is having a special event focusing on this year’s mission trip on Sept. 9.  And a pig roast will follow, so please try to be there to hear personal experiences from us and pictures too!!!
            1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Encourage one another and build each other up”

Signing off, Clark and Maddi, mission reporters

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Mission Trip Photos

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