Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday, July 15

Well, its off to my second day at work in Yakima. Yesterday, we arrived at a trailer park about fifteen or twenty minutes from the church where we are staying. Our main job there is putting a new coat of paint on the woman’s home. A fellow worker and I went with Pat, our group leader to get the paint at Lowes. We kind of got lost in the store looking for the cleaning supplies and latex gloves. After we returned with our six gallons of paint, we spent the afternoon and early evening scraping paint off the deck, washing the trailer, weeding and starting to paint the woman’s home. I volunteered to paint the trim, and I spent a couple hours giving it, and the ground, a new paint job.
The meals here are really good. Last night it was fettuccini and chicken. My group of friends and I, plus some new additions, got in a heated and very loud discussion about the world’s issues and politics. Apparently, this is out of the ordinary for teens to discuss and attracted a lot of (hopefully) positive attention from St. Stephen’s adults. After the Evening Program, we got free time until eleven and we went in at ten ‘till.
I was really shocked about how friendly most of the people were. Almost everyone seems so open minded and accepting. In my sharing group, I’ve talked to/ hung out with each one of them. It’s overall a good environment with good students and leaders helping those who need it the most. I’ve already learned a lot here, and its only the second day. Today I’ll be back on the ladder, painting the brown trim green and TRYING not to get it in peoples’ hair. Even though the workdays are long and the temperature are above ninety, its somehow enjoyable. Off to work again.
-Kelcie H.
Volunteer Chore Services (Yakima)

Day 2
Today my group was able to go to the OIC food bank for a nice portion of the day. It is one of the largest food banks serving Yakima. Today I saw that people come and ask for help because they are not able to provide for themselves and their families. It was a great experience and I also learned that people who come to food banks look like they have things under control. We don’t know the their stories. It’s impossible to find every persons story and some people are just blunt and say: “thank you so much you helped me when I couldn’t figure things out on my own”. For some of the families I was almost brought to tears for the fact even when things in their life were so low, and they resort to that so many of them were amazing and overtly kind. The one thing I know and had the same even more passionate feeling was I couldn’t be one of them if I had to resort to that I would be with the people who run in and out. If I cry looking at those in need I just imagine how dramatic that experience would be for me!
Morgan B
Northwest Harvest

Just a note from one of the adults:
Once again, our kids are a credit to their families and the St. Stephens community. They are, without exception, working very hard. (I think they're learning a lot too!). Father Ed arrived this afternoon and once again ended up in "jail" during the evening game. I think, this year, he was just "visiting the 'least of these' in prison" rather than commiting "crimes". One sad note Yaki-maniacs....our favorite Mango/Smoothie Oasis has, disappeared into the ether. We'll be researching to find a new spot for our mangos with lime and chili pepper. God Bless, and Thanks for your prayers.
Kristen W.
Northwest Harvest.

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