Wednesday, January 20, 2010

make it a day on, not a day off...

this past weekend, after taking a little over 700 pictures at connie and travis' wedding (those will come eventually--i just downloaded them to my computer tonight. it's been that kind of week) i headed off on sunday with the youth group to the local christian university, MAC-U, where many of our church staff members attended. they also run a popular summer camp where most of our kids go and host an event for youth groups every few months. this time, they chose to tie it over to a service project on monday for MLK jr day. i was asked to help chaperone the trip, and so we took off that afternoon with 9 teens in tow.

i had actually never been to the campus before and was in love with the waterfront and the nearby bridge...
inside, we met up with many familiar faces of other youth groups that we know well and other church members who were already there to help out with the sound system or performing with the worship band.
chris, our youth minister, led worship along with aaron (one of our seniors) and jordan (our worship leader at church.) i didn't know the drummer. sorry :)
we had some amazing worship (see the post below) and listened to a great devotional. then we brought in our stuff to the dorm rooms where we'd be staying and ended up hanging out in the student lounge for the rest of the night. lucky for me--my girls were ready to head back to the dorms a little before 10 and were asleep just after 11. i heard the boys were up until 2 am playing capture the flag in the dorms. i love chaperoning girls...

the next morning, we woke up ready and refreshed. granted, my almost 27-year old back wasn't prepared for the 6 inch foam mattress from the dorms.

after a few last minute changes in plans, we figured out that we'd be staying on campus to help with their service project. we had planned on going up into norfolk, but they ended up having enough work to be done with the university's service project.
(love the motto here: MLK day of service--make it a day on, not a day off.)

we were packaging food to be sent to haiti--a project that was chosen many many months ago before the earthquake last week. there was an assembly line set up around the gym floor with several different stations, each helping to package a dinner of rice, dehydrated vegetables and soy protein fiber.

(the only picture of me i'm including ^--just the top of my head--i was working the sealing station!)

the other part of my sealing table--this lovely lady at the end is sara--she helped me with one of our girls retreats a couple of years ago and i'm trying to find a way to get her to move closer to us after she graduates :)
chris strikes a pose (by the way, i obviously didn't take these pictures. just sent my camera around with other people.)
the organization we were working with...
and even some of the youngest church members came to help out--molly accompanied her mama amanda to work that day and helped pack up boxes of food. such a cutie!
we worked for about 4 hours that morning until 61,000 meals were packaged for haiti. so awesome!

then it was time for a lunch at pizza hut (where we left our intern joe by mistake--whoops) and then packing up the van and then on back home, where i continued to get ready for my week with laundry, grocery shopping, and preparing for a short work week (but lots of appointments and busy busy days.)

i think the whole experience was best summed up in my facebook status that i posed on the way home:

heading back home after a great day of service and spending time with our awesome youth group. I don't think I realize how blessed we are to be a part of this ministry until we're at an event like this one and I see how influential our kids are, how other leaders look up to and compliment our staff, and just how amazingly well our group works together...

can't wait til next time!