Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week one Mission 2011

I have always wished I was a morning person, but I just don’t think it is in the cards for me. It is difficult, to say the least, for me to stay focused and enthusiastic when I have woken up at 6:50. When we first arrived at our job site to build ramps this morning, I stood in the background while our leaders happily greeted the family. The minute I met the two young children of the family, though, I immediately had more energy and a big smile. I really felt God’s grace when I looked at the kids talking and laughing. It feels just as good to put in hours of work to transform their lives as it does to make them smile. I now realize that an opportunity to change lives is worth waking up at any hour.
-Savannah Linders
When just coming back from dance camp where I got minimal sleep and then waking up at 3 in the morning to arrive to Yakima, I wasn’t exactly super stoked to be up and moving. However, I ended up having a blast. Our first day on site went well. We got a whole ramp done. It was amazing to see their faces when they saw our completed work and we could see the man come out of his house with no problem. I am very blessed to be working with the amazing teens and leaders that I am. Two years ago this elderly man named Jim spoke one night during prayer and really moved me. By the end of his speech I was balling my eyes out. He said he might not even be here the next year. The church Holy Spirit is here and they brought Jim. I was so happy to see him here, and I can certainly feel God’s presence when I see Jim here. I can’t wait to see what the rest of this week has for our team and to reach out to others that are in need.
-Briana Jackson
Yakima has been a great experience that I will never forget. We started off the journey with a relatively short drive but with minimal space to move. When we got to the sight I met the people that run the place and they are some of the nicest people I have ever met, full of love and laughter. The first day we did not do any work besides set up and get to know each other. I have met some wonderful teens and adults that just seem so spiritual. We played basketball the first night where after I felt like one hundred degrees and had puddles of sweat dripping off of me. I was told stories of all the cold showers that everyone has to take but they fixed the showers and only the guys got hot showers and they felt good. On Monday morning, our first work day, it started off slow but then we got in Debby’s car where she was blasting music so loud that air was coming out of the speakers. When we got done working on the ramp that day the man seemed so happy that people were willing to help him. It seemed to have brought joy to his life and seems that it will continue to make an impact on his and his family for the rest of their lives. That was my favorite part of the day/trip, to see the smile on the person’s face because what is life about if you are not smiling and having a good time. I cannot wait to help more people to make a difference in the world and know that my work is meaningful.
-Connor Relph
Coming back to mission for my fourth and final year feels so good! I have more energy here than I have for the past 4 weeks combined. My enthusiasm may have been a little bit much for the first day because I all really wanted to do was play football and shoot hoops. I was happy to have a good workout that day, but that combined with being out of shape and sleeping on the ground made me very sore for the first work day. That day was a slow start because we were delayed and most of us were rookies when it came to actually building the ramps. But Lowelle, who has been like a Sherpa to us, has been so great and easy to work with and we finished the project very quickly. I’m currently blogging from the 2nd site but it is looking as though we are going to be finishing it today event though it was scheduled to be a 2 day project! I am so proud of my team and I love them like family because we get along so great and I know that I will be able to count on them for anything. The main highlights so far from today would probably be us working so well as a unit and just all the funny stories we can tell and just make each other laugh and make it not even seem like work. That’s my update for now, I’ll make sure to have at least one more update this week if not more. I was objective about writing this blog at first because I have no stock holders to check up on me, but it is really nice to just let out how I feel no matter how many people see it.
‘till next time- Luke Kemper

Today my team and I busted through another ramp successfully. The first one we completed yesterday was a mini warm-up compared to the one we completed today. Everyone worked together so well today because we actually knew what we were doing with our experiences from yesterday. We were all able to efficiently work together and construct a much bigger ramp in the same amount of time. I love the feeling you get when you see the final product of something, knowing that you were a part of the creation of it. It is amazing to know that we made something out of nothing. My favorite part of our day at the worksite is when we see the reactions on the people’s faces we helped. To see their bright smiles and the great joy they have makes all of the work in the Yakima heat worthwhile (even though today started off raining!). I’m so proud of my group and how much we can accomplish and change someone’s life in just one day. I can’t wait to see what wonderful experiences the rest of this week will bring!
Love, Alexa Brandt

Have you ever washed a car? Well I’ve washed a house. Mission has been a TON of work so far. And after trimming hundreds if irises, I discovered that I will never become a gardener.
Today I met a veteran. His name is Loren. He has one leg and is blind in one eye. This makes it almost impossible to clean. So you can guess how long it took me and the 3 other girls in my group to clean out the kitchen! I was in charge of the sink, which had about 2.5 inches of mold/slime that had the consistency of rust. I had to use a piece of metal to scrape out the entire sink. It took me two hours.
What struck me the most today was seeing how successful, accomplished, heroic and athletic Loren had been in the old days and how he ended up in a mobile home that hadn’t seen a sponge in years and restricted to his wheelchair and magnifying machine to see.
This is why I am here. To bring back love and hope into the lives of the people I meet. Can’t wait for the rest of the week to unfold.

Elizabeth Rodland

Today was an eye-opening experience for me at Mission. First and foremost, it rained…It RAINED in Yakima. According to the newspaper I read yesterday it was supposed to be one of the hottest days of the week. Instead, it was about 60 and raining….it got me a little homesick. Besides from the weather, our team (now titled Team OY!...OIU…oyi?). Either way it spelled, we arrived at our site for today, about to tackle what was supposed to be a two day project. Immediately everyone got settled in, bringing out their drills, unloading wood from Lowell’s trailer, and ready for the word. As we worked, we had done so with such speed, applying quickly what we had learned from yesterday. By the time it was lunch, the ramp was about 90% finished. The team had clicked. I think it was because of the two children. I believe it was Pam who said, that it was the two little children who gave us the added inspiration to work today, besides from the man (believe his name was Omega…An awesome name) we were helping build the ramp for. The children were there watching us from time to time, interested and excited to see us. It brought joy to me for sure. What also brought joy to me was that Lowell was shocked at how efficient we were in the project. The ramp that was supposed to take two days, we finished in one. How we finished the ramp was a miracle. We began to run out on everything. One by one the drills became to die from all the work. The full can of paint, so became a puddle and the wood, short and worries that we may not finish. But we pulled through. The scraps, casted aside became nearly a perfect fit. Every last drop of paint became salvaged to touch up unpainted areas. How that ramp was finished spoke to me.
Nothing is ever perfect, there will odds and ends, loose pieces that at first have no value, but in the end may or will make a huge difference.
It also became a sign to me that this team was special. We all may be different…but we make something special…a family. I want to say thank you to my sponsors and to my family I love you all. Edelmar Navaluna

Here’s a brief summary of my day here at Mission:
• Wake up early to rain to get ready for breakfast and send-off to work
• Arrive at work site to apply primer to the outside of the house
• Come back to the program site for other sessions and prayer
• Have dinner and a simulation game of “trying to get a meal for the day”
o I got to be a police officer, had to arrest people for bad behavior
• Formulated plan for tomorrow
• Lights out
This was a very, very brief summary of what I did today on Mission. I know that I was called by God to serve here in Yakima. I also feel very fortunate to have this as my first year (despite the ridiculous rain) along with my team and work site. I love you all and I’ll blog later. See you tomorrow Mom and Dad!
-Kenny Pham

(Helloooooo! So I love St. Stephens and I just found out about your guys blog thing, and I wanted to let you know, it is SO COOL. Well what a great program you guys run ( Love, your favorite straggler from Holy Spirit, (which I will probably switch to St. Stephens hehe, Kimmie))

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