This past week, I went to our sister FUMC church for a week-long mission-trip/youth worship event. You see, every year, a bunch of FUMC churches get together and one special church hosts about 200-350 FUMC Youth, who are separated into groups called 'God Squads', ranging from 6-20 people, who repair a house for some one who can't do it physically of financially. It's hard work, but we have a lot of help. You have the God Squad leader (or leaders) who directs projects and the youth the whole week. They basically are in charge of your life, so you have to get to know them. Then you have a Tech Angel who helps with things like pouring concrete for a wheelchair ramp or something that the average youth volunteer doesn't know how to do. And every God Squad has a Guardian Angel, who brings them treats, like root beer floats or a bucket full of water guns and water bombs. There are about twenty of these God Squads and you work on your site from 8 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon.
After you get all sweaty from the day, rolled around in the muck, and got covered in paint you need a shower! So they have magical places called Shower House's where a member of the church opens up their houses to a God Squad and provides them with a place to relax, take a shower, and feed them a lite snack. You spend about two hours here before you go back to the church for dinner.
Then, at church, you eat dinner for an hour and a half, participate in an activity or attend worship. And after the activity or worship session, you get ready for bed and lights out!
Now, here's my youth force experience this year:
God Squad #3-Mine!
God Squad Leaders: Brent and Lynn-married couple and tons of fun. Brent could act very silly at times, so Lynn kept us in line. They even took us to Sonic for root beer floats one day. (By the by, they are awesome!)
Tech Angel: Phil/'Dr. Phil'/'Phil of the future'.-our Tech Angel Phil was lovingly called a workaholic by the youth. He helped us with all the technical stuff, like pouring concrete.
The Youth (From oldest to youngest):
Emily: A Sr. High girl from our church. Quiet, calm, and no-nonsense, but was willing to join in on the fun. Sometimes, she seems like she's mad at you, but she is really just being relaxed.
Jacob: A great lover of his state, Texas. With his thick accent, love of country and rap, and his muscles, he did too much work this week! It was difficult to get him to smile for pictures...
I was right here! And then there was...
Alexis/Lexus/Lexi: She was in my small group at camp last year, and is a lot of fun. She has just a hint of accent and loves to laugh. She actually liked my ugly VBS shirt I used to work in!
Zac/Alex/Pumkin: Like having a little brother for a week. Delighted in renaming me "Ingrid" and saying that I was the CR of the group. (Comic Relief, for those of you ignorant of the term) One of those kid's that look little-kid-cute after the forth grade.
We did a variety of work and thought we'd be done by Wednesday, which of course meant we would have o go back on the last day when nobody goes to work. WE tore out, replaced and painted the trim in the hall, painted the hall, enlarged a door, put a brace against the wall, made two ramps, and spackeled up the holes in the walls. But we had a fun time working, for our home owner, Beverly. On the last "Real" day, she grilled for us on her new wheel-chair accessible ramp/patio we built. Hearing her shouts of joy made all those cockroaches we encountered worth it.
Our shower house was AMAZING!!! They had three showers, one we called the GLORIOUS DOWN STAIR SHOWER, and our hosts made great food too.
Can't say the same for the food at ********* . Really hard to get down. First night, pasta and chicken? GREAT. Second night, Our Night. The women from our church came ad cooked a Mexican fiesta. Better than the first night. The third night, we went to a buffet/dance place, and the Pizza STUNK! The forth night. the home owners came. And they served chili dogs! Belch!!! And the final night, okay. Burgers, but you had to fix them yourself! Enjoyed the breakfasts less, so much less, I'd rather not say all we had, do too all the stomach pains suffered.
Activities were even less anticipated. We had a dance, as i mentioned. A movie night, (really old movies.) a check-out-your-job-site night, a scavenger hunt around town, and, their "most special" activity, a real live skate shower where we shielded our eyes from the blistering hot sun and had boys try to toss water onto the girls with white shirts.
Not that I'm complaining, I just though we did better. What can I say say? Everything's better in our town!
Well, I'm beat! I gotta crash, no sleep this week. Bye guys!!!
Lots o' hugs from, Amanda