Monday, August 6, 2012

Final Recap...

Thought I'd forgotten about this didn't ya.
Well it's been almost a week since the team has returned. Hopefully most have gotten use to sleeping in their beds again, drinking something other than bottled water or Gatorade, taking showers for as long as they want, not having long forgotten muscles ache and not tasting sheetrock dust in everything.
When we arrived home I sent an email out to the team members asking for their thoughts on the mission. I got a couple back. Here they are:
"I enjoyed working with and getting to know those on the team. I enjoyed meeting Marvin & Kim, Lynn & Toots, Mildred & her son, Dan & Melinda, Granny & her family, and even Dink. Didn't mind the work, but painting that ceiling one more time (for the fourth time) was tiring! I appreciate all the hard work everyone put in. It was a great team and I enjoyed being on the lake watching everyone having a well deserved good time!! "
"This trip, to me, was exceptional in the quality of teamwork and cooperation exhibited throughout the week. There was a spirit of caring and affection that was great. I was impressed with the amount of work we accomplished and the effort and quality of work given by the youth on the job site. It was a fun trip J and a spiritual trip. We were blessed by our homeowners and by each other. All the good qualities seemed to rise to the top!"
It was an exceptional mission. The team was a cross generational team with the youngest being 16 and the oldest being, well let's just say that the oldest could easily work the socks off most people half their age! This was the first time in 5 years that an FUMC mission team had youth on it. Once again we were blessed by having Ed, Kevin and Colin May from Elk Grove, IL join us. If there is a family that exemplifies what it means to serve they are it. On this mission in doing the work and in ministering there was no age barrier. Everyone contributed and everyone cared about each other and the people that we served. Once again I received more than I gave. God was truly moving amongst us and with us at all times. 
The wonderful people we encountered in Guntersville, the beautiful scenery (some awesome sunsets over the hill across from the church), the welcoming church family and the devotions of the team members are just a few of the memories that I will carry with me from this mission. There were new friends made, old friends reconnected with, bonds strengthened and hopefully faith restored.
Once again thank you for all that kept us in your prayers and supported us with donations of snacks, drinks and financially. If you get a chance I hope you will ask a team member about their personal experiences on this mission. And as you look toward Alabama please take a moment to say a prayer for Carol and Matthew and Granny. While we are safe and secure in our homes they are still waiting to get back into theirs.
Peace and Grace,

Stick a fork in us...

Greetings All,
Coming to you live and tired from the social area of Henryville UMC. What an amazing day with amazing people. This may be a brief email since we are planning on heading out tomorrow at 6:30 AM or before and we still have some packing to do in the morning.
Let me say first that all the parents of the youth that came along should be very proud of their youth. They performed above and beyond and exceeded expectations. It was hot, dirt, sometimes nasty work but they didn't back down from anything. When out in public they were polite and well mannered.
Secondly we got the Pods (portable storage sheds) cleaned out and the items (including an upright piano which we moved twice) moved into the house. We got almost all of the tasks on our list completed. But most of all we found out that we had restored a lady's faith that there are still people in this world that will take time to help others. She told some of our team members that she didn't think folks like us were still around.
After dinner tonight we had a visit from Pastor McCormick and his wife Kim. They stopped by to say thank you for what we had done. The attached picture is the team with them.
Our devotions tonight include communion served by Rich and Brittney. It was a very moving time for all.
Rich and Parker are heading out early (4:30) in the morning due to a family function for Parker back in Richmond. I imagine when most of you read this they will be close to Virginia. Please keep them in your prayers.
The May family will be heading out about the same time we do for Chicago. Please keep them also in your prayers.
I hope to write a wrap up of the week soon after I get back. It will be good to be back home tomorrow. Thank you for your prayers. So for now good night and God Bless!
In Christ,