Thursday, June 24, 2010

Destination: Little Rock - Day 2

Rolling with the experience, is a good way to sum up today's mission trip projects.

This morning we worked at Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church in downtown Little Rock. The church has several ministry outreaches including a food bank, weekly meal on Sundays and more.

We initially thought that we would be sorting items and things in the food bank. However, it looked like some extra volunteers had gotten a jump on next week's "sorting," so our project changed.

This is where the "rolling" with the changes/experiences comes in.

We ended up helping the pastors clean up the outdoor, sunken courtyard.

We raked up leaves and debris that had blown in during the fall/spring storms.

What does this have to do with hunger ministries - well, typically (when it's not horribly hot) people have gathered in the courtyard for "outdoor" seating for meals.

We helped get it ready for use on Sunday morning - during the breakfast or lunch times - or maybe even so a Sunday school class could go outside for their class.

Who knows what will take place because of our efforts. The kids were good sports and great workers. We got the project completed during our two hour time limit.

This was also our first of two "stops" today which involved leaving behind more than our presence. At both Quapaw Quarter and Heifer Ranch, we left checks for $100, as part of our gift to the ministries.

It's not a lot, but it represents part of what the students raised in order to attend the trip. We not only go to serve, but we try to leave them with something to help their ministry in the future.

(Think of it as filling our Methodist "membership" vows - Prayers, Presence, Gifts, Service and Witness - with the various aspects of our mission trip.)

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The other part of our day involved traveling to Heifer Ranch.

By the way, Pandora on my iPhone is our new favorite app - we've had our own version of "satellite" radio in the church van thanks to it - it streams Contemp. Christian music via my phone, into the van's stereo with a little help from some adapters!

To say that it's a bit hot in central Arkansas is, well, a bit of an understatement.

Other than complaining a bit (yes, we broke rule 3 a bit today - "no whining"), the kids kept rolling with it, and totally focused on learning more about the ministry that takes place through Heifer Project International.

We watched a video that personalized the ministry, took a hayride/wagon ride through the ranch to look at animals - yes they had two water buffalos - and then walked through the global village.

Everyone stayed hydrated and almost sunburn free.

We finished the evening with a fabulous meal at Leon and Libby Grey's home, and a surprise stop at the Purple Cow for what else, purple ice cream cones.

Worship was again led by John Palmer and Sarah - and was fabulous!

Tomorrow we work at the Arkansas Rice Depot and then go swimming in the afternoon.
We may try to swing by the conference office for a quick tour.

Things are good, your kids are great and thank you for trusting us with them!

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