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Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday- An amazing but sad last day!

Wow!  We are overwhelmed by the fact that our week is over!  It has gone so fast, and it is hard to leave these amazing kids.  It is also hard to leave the friends that we have met, and the incredible directors and interns that we have come to know.  This is such an amazing environment.  We are put in situations where it is easy to show and share our faith.  We have been challenged today to take this feeling back with us and live it daily in our own lives.  It was not hard to start a conversation about God with a total stranger at the park or a child in day camp.  We had on our purple shirts.  Everyone knew we were here from a church.  Can we live this out when we get home in our communities, peer groups, and schools?  That is our challenge as we return home and get back into our normal routines.  At the end of the evening. the teens were given the opportunity to share with the rest of the group what they had learned, or stood out to them.  Many teens shared how this was such an eye opening trip.  Many had come with prejudices about those in this area.  Some had come to realise how selfish their lives were.  It was an encouraging time.

We had the last day of day camp and the last time to visit our challenge circle areas today.  It was hard, because we know that we will probably not see these kids again.  It was great to know this, though and say goodbye to all.

This morning we had a few hours of free time.  We went to the French Quarter, and got to see some amazing historical buildings, Bourbon Street, and an open market. Most of us loved the market, as we honed our negotiating skills, trying to get the best deals on gifts and souvenirs possible.  We also had great food, some choosing gumbo, po' boys, pralines, alligator (yes!) and Icebergs (show cones).  One man was so appreciative of the politeness of our group I (Lori) got a free iceberg!  It was amazing to see this historic area, and get a taste of New Orleans.
Thanks for praying for us, we are off in the morning.  We plan to leave between 8:30 and 9:00 or so.  We have to clean the house (girls) and load the vans, so it may not be quite as fast as some may wish (lol).  We have had an amazing time, and most of them are talking about what they could do to come back again, as well as how we can use what we have learned in our own communities.


New hat for Carls :)


This is Bitsy, the BEST!


Dean  being Dean...... .



Caleb chowing down some Gator!!!!
The Interns (some of them, at least)

The boys with Jolly








We LOVE this one!


This is the yellow house - where the girls live.

2 sets of twins=4 human beings

Eric is the only one strong enough and tall enough for this!



Please spray me!



Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thursday - We CAN'T believe it is almost over.

Howdy All!  We just had ice cream and feel great!   Who knew two scoops of cheesecake ice cream was $5?  But it was good...   We had a great day today.  It was bitter sweet knowing this was our last "normal" day, at least what we have come to consider normal.  We are just getting the hang of all of this and we are getting ready to be done.  It is amazing to us that the pastors and directors do this week after week, with group after group. 

It was amazing, as we drove to the ice cream store (not Blue Bunny), how fast the scenery changed to BEAUTIFUL restored homes.  Two story "mansions" lined the streets, no flood damage at all.  It is amazing what resources and money can do.  We have learned that it is more than that, though, as the difference between being poor and poverty has been thoroughly discussed.

Tonight's devotions were amazing as well.  One girl has gone through all kinds of hardship lately.  Her dad was fired from his 40 year job in April, and her mom was just diagnosed with breast cancer.  She had a double mastectomy last week and found the disease had spread to her limp nodes.  She now has to endure radiation and chemo.  This will all happen when Bitsy, the intern, is here in New Orleans.  Please pray for Bitsy's mother. 

Thanks again for all your comments.  The boys have not seen much of this, but the girls are.  We tell them info from the comments that you leave.  Thanks for allowing all of us to come down here.  We are being stretched and growing in our faith.  God is working here.

Mattea - The talent night video is posted yesterday.  Matt also sang, but I have not been able to get it on here yet.  Thanks!
The guys are playing more four square than basketball lately.





The kids beg for shoulder rides!  Then they chase each other around.


This is green group on the prayer walk.  They were praying in the park we, purple group, had basketball ministry in.  Kathy, Sara, and Tyler are in this group.

Playing with chalk.




This is part of the group at day camp.





Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday - Another big day...

Today was a lot like yesterday, and it will be about the same as tomorrow.  The only difference was our chapel speaker and our afternoon activity switched.  For example, if you did games for day camp yesterday, today you might to the prayer walk.  Or if you did crafts for day camp yesterday, today you did clean up at the new church.  Everything else remained the same.  We all had a great day, but we are all exhausted.  We don't have much time to post tonight, because it was talent night and we are just getting in.   The kids had a great time preparing and performing.  It was a lot of fun, and we got ice cream!

Please pray for our energy levels.  We are making more friendships as week goes on.  The other kids are warming up as we work together daily.  Serving seems to bring out the best in people.  (-:

PS - Some one ate Carley's donut!!!!!  Oh - no she found it!!!




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This is Jeremy "J" and he is the BEST!!!!