June 19, 2011

Mission Trip 2011

"Let us throw off everything the hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." Hebrews 12:1b-2a

I had such a great time on our youth mission trip this past week! We loaded up 31 kids and 8 adults onto the bus Sunday morning and headed for Little Rock :)

These pictures are from Sunday night. We drove straight to the Behavioral Health Hospital for our first night of "bible school." Our theme this year was Christian Olympics and we talked about running the race for Jesus. Our 3 main topics were running to win, having a good attitude, and finishing the race. Our youth did a great job presenting the material, engaging in crazy songs and dances, leading discussion, crafts and games at the Hospital on Sunday and Tuesday and the Children's Home on Monday and Wednesday. We had a lot of great time with the kids at both places.

We also had some work projects to do. Tuesday afternoon we built, painted and decorated 6 picnic tables for the grounds at the Behavioral Health Hospital. Our kids worked so hard to get the tables together and to make them look nice. And lots of our girls got a chance to learn to use power tools as everyone who wanted to had the opportunity to drill the holes for the tables and then help put in the nuts and bolts.

We also were able to enjoy lots of time together at our host church. Every evening we had several hours to play games, practice for the next day, run around playing flashlight tag, fix each others hair (they even got one of the boys to let them straighten his hair!), and have lots of conversations between dinner and bedtime.

Wednesday afternoon we did some landscaping before heading to Arkadelphia for a night in the hotel. We all enjoyed being able to take a real shower on Wednesday night after a sweaty afternoon of working. Then we spent the evening by the indoor pool before sleeping in beds for our final night!

Thursday we got up and headed to Lake DeGray for our fun day. We spent the day tubing and swimming and getting plenty worn out! I even had a short stint of driving the boat! I drove it back to shore after one of our trips out to take kids tubing. I enjoyed it, but was just fine to spend most of my day watching the tube and the rope for the kids instead of driving!

Then we loaded up and headed home to our own families, beds and showers.

It was a great week and I was so blessed to have the opportunity to spend the time with these youth watching as they learn to take leadership and make a difference in their world. It was nice to get away and get re-focused.

I'll leave you with our Youth Benediction from the book of Numbers which is how we ended each day and each session.

"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face sine on you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26

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