Thursday, August 6, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Day 7: Tuesday, August 4, 2009 -- Work Day 2
Monday, August 3, 2009
Day 6: Monday, August 3, 2009 -- Work Day 1
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Day 5: Sunday, August 2, 2009 by Helen M.
We woke again to sunshine. Today we will share worship with a local church just a walk away and start our work. Rob said it will mirror the life of a trappist monk where they worship, pray, and serve/work.
We all shared continental breakfast and began our walk to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, a two minute walk. An amazing experience; my first evangelical service. They welcomed us very warmly even including us in the worship service. Rob read scripture and Rob and two of our deacons, Janina and Ivy, participated with the church’s Elders in a laying on of hands experience for Harry Cloud, a man having surgery tomorrow at 5:45 a.m. on August 3rd. We will pray for him. The music, oh my! Every song was a gift we unwrapped from God with a beautiful long ribbon and flowing paper that fell to the floor that made you jump up and dance and sing from the deepest depth of your soul. We shared communion. All came forth. Pastor Terry placed a wafer in our mouth, we drank wine from a cup, real wine, a first for me at communion. What a blessing for us all to share in this service. After we were asked if we wanted to share anything. I said I would drive 3 days just to experience the service we just experienced at Bethel Prince of Peace Lutheran Church today.
I enjoyed getting to cook lunch in a tractor-trailer donated for a Disaster Relief, turned into a mobile kitchen unit. The junior leaders (Jordan B., Janice B., Courtney C., Jon T.) made spaghetti and salad with a couple of adult helpers. I go to be one. It was a cool experience. Well, it was hot but the experience was cool. The youth were so good. They helped the lone kitchen lady prep for dinner as well.
After lunch we worked and worked and worked. We helped around Camp Restore, our Retreat Center. The work on site in New Orleans will begin tomorrow but we all wanted to begin today and that was the plan. We were anxious to work so the staff here were asked by Rob to have work lists for us. Some did heavy lifting, some general housekeeping, some big clean up/organizing. My group began with windows. We were blessed to be visited by 20 to 25 Monk Parakeets, large green parrot like birds that I later found reside here. Then we went on to some general housecleaning and ultimately found ourselves in the worksite storage area for a couple of hours inventorying, restocking, and cleaning. It felt good to have all of Camp Restore sparked clean and it was a gift to the staff and felt good to give back to them.
Dinner & Worship
Not much time until dinner, a quick call to check in back home. Our numbers tonight at Camp Restore jumped from just we 37 from UBC to 100+ as more volunteers showed up from all over the country. A special ecumenical orientation/service after dinner brought us all together. How wonderful to be in a room of so many faiths and such diversity. It was beautiful!
Now our personal worship service and reflection as UBC. We invited the group from NJ along. It felt good to include them. We are getting to know each other so well and sharing so much with each other.
What a full and blessed Day. A Gift from God
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Day 4: Saturday, August 1, 2009 by Zac G. & Sydney P.
Today we went for a tour of downtown New Orleans and a swamp boat tour where we saw alligators. We woke up at 7 o’clock before we headed out for the swamp boat tour. After getting lost trying to find the Swamp tour, we finally reached it and then we split up into two different boats for individual adventures! We saw alligators from 4 feet to 10 feet long. Instead of doing the sane thing, we actually wanted the alligators to come closer to us. So we fed them marshmallows! We also saw Osprey, Blue herons, salamanders, egrets, newts, and turtles. And of course we had to have seen the local Mosquito-hawks, aka Dragonflies. Then we got back in the van and headed for Downtown New Orleans for lunch and sightseeing. To get to the restaurant, we had to park in the 10th floor of the parking garage since there is nowhere to park on the street. Since we had so many people, it was difficult to fit everyone in one elevator so we took turns going down. Almost every elevator was full so we had to wait at least half an hour before getting to the ground floor. Somehow we all got to the bottom before the end of the day. Before we went to lunch at a delicious Cajun restaurant, we got to eat Beignets (that's Ben-yay: a kind of French doughnut) while waiting in line for forty minutes. We had Jambalaya and amazingly yummy Gulf coast shrimp and got to do some bonding with people that we don’t really know. After we had that brand new experience, we were lead around town by Malik Muhammad, one of Rob James’ college roommates. From there we split up into smaller groups and went to take in the atmosphere of New Orleans. And of course we did a little shopping. On the way back, our car had one extra person so we really had to squeeze, Rob and Tori had to share a seat belt which didn’t really work too well. Rob ended up on half the seat and Tori couldn’t use her arms. Finally after all the excitement, we got back and were able to get showers (yay!) and just chill out.
- Zac G. & Sydney P.