June 20, 2019
As we depart on the bus to our last day of vacation bible school, reflecting on Wednesday’s activities and events becomes tougher to recall. The idea of having to say goodbye to a community that has nurtured our faith, though for a short time, is tough.
Yesterday, during vacation Bible school, we really started seeing the fruits of our relational ministry bloom. From the children running to us with open and loving arms, to congregational members seeking to participate in our activities, the impact is very visible and tangible in a sense. Other work crews have successfully pressure washed and sealed one coat on the roof the church, while another crew has been diligently working on the pastors house. So much work has been done and today will be the finishing of all of it.
In the afternoon, we had the opportunity to decompress and unwind at a gorgeous beach. We got the opportunity to really enjoy fellowship and recreation with the members of the church and their families. We are truly thankful for such a wonderful event!
I am sure today will be spiritually fulfilling, physically draining, and possibly emotionally exhilarating. As we go through all the sides of the emotional spectrum, pray for us that we may leave behind footprints of love, fingerprints of peace and the spirit of gentleness to our new community.
Peace and Grace,
June 19, 2019
Yesterday was a big momentum builder for our mission trip experience!
From having a successful vacation bible school day and work projects to having an amazing worship experience with the congregation.
Day 2 of VBS was a lot easier to manage and flowed easily as we learned the schedule better and allowed ourselves the opportunity to be with the people. Other mission groups finished power washing the building and roof while also weeding and landscaping the surround area of the church! Many kids felt accomplished and confident in their work!
After working this morning, we had an opportunity to deliver food to the homeless and ride the metro! While walking the streets and riding the metro we got to enjoy the songs being sang and really immerse ourselves in the culture and be excited with the people.
Later in the evening we had the opportunity to lead the church in our style of worship. It was joyous and heart filling to sing our songs and to have the congregation sing with us in Spanish. Sebastian McGee did an amazing job translating the whole service from English to Spanish. He is definitely a rockstar!
As the evening winded down we got an opportunity to rest and sleep in. As we work through hump day, pray for us so we can continue to do some good work!
Peace and Grace,
June 18, 2019
Yesterday was a fun and busy day. Filled with connecting to the local people of the church and better with the Praying Pelican staff and with ourselves.
Our days are starting to get longer and more intense with our work projects. Our days start off at 7 am, leaving to head to our vacation bible school spot by 830 am. As we arrive we are immediately greeted with warmth and energy as the kids are sing their vbs songs (on repeat).
Not everyone got to work in the vbs. For those who did not, they did service work around the church and later at a members house to do some work on the interior design.
After working in the morning and having lunch with the pastors and some of their family, we went to a retirement home named the “Ramos House”. There we sang music, played games and colored pictures with the people who lived there!
For dinner we had the opportunity to eat with another praying pelican camp, from Oregon! As well, we got to participate in salsa dancing with them. We really got a taste of the culture in that moment. On Sunday morning, we were told that here in Puerto Rico, that music and praise is within their blood, bones and spirit. Definitely felt it last night, as we learned to salsa and the meticulous steps that go into the dance!
Our days are long and our eyes probably will get heavy but for the most part, our hearts are filled!
Peace and Grace,
June 17, 2019
Happy Father’s Day! Today has been a great and new experience for us.
This morning we worshipped at a church of the resurrected Christ! A charismatic style worship, with tons of praise, music and an overall different flow of worship than what we are use to at Fourth! A key major difference was getting to church at 9:30 am where they were already worshipping and finishing the summer and prayers and more worship around 12:40 pm. Yes that’s a 3 hour worship service.
After our worship experience, we had lunch with the congregation and prepared for our local mission for the day. We walked around the Forest Hill neighborhood, passing out flyers about the church as well as passing out hygiene bags to the fathers of the neighborhood!
One of the highlights of the day was stopping to get ice cream and experimenting with corn ice cream. The vote is 10-2 in favor of corn ice cream.
The evening was great, with tons of fellowship and great conversations about the day.
Continue to stay tuned to hear more about our adventures throughout the week!
Peace and Grace,
June 17, 2019
We have successfully arrived in San Juan, without any issue!!! If you have been tuned in to previous mission trips with me, that’s huge. We all boarded in Charlotte airport on time and arrived in San Juan 30 minutes early.
From there we met our site leader Hannah Gibson. She has recently moved to Northern Virginia from Alabama. She has been serving with praying pelican for a few years. Her husband is a worship pastor in Virginia and she comes and does mission work during the summer. She told us that she has done work in Costa Rica, Tanzania, and many other foreign places. I personally believe we are in good hands here!
As we arrived we got introduced to the majestic beauty of what is Puerto Rico! The water is absolutely stunning and the scenery is as if God, Godself painted on a canvas. After spending some time on the beach and eating some local delicacies, we got the opportunity to experience Larry Boyd’s, biggest fear.... the San Juan Walmart the day before Father’s Day! It was packed but we are fully stocked on supplies for the week!
Praise be to God for safe travels. Tune in next time to learn more about our journey!
Peace and Grace,
June 16, 2017
We have reached the end of an amazing journey! One that deepened relationships, built a community and reflected the heart of God.
With today's work, we finally were able to work together as a group and not at two different sites. We went out to Sidell, Louisiana to work at a Boys and Girls club. We were charged with priming their arts room. I'll say if anyone needs a house repainted, please call us. Starting at 9 am we finished priming with 2 coats by 2 pm.
The later part of the day we went to the French market for one last hoora! Afterwards we went to a child of Fourth, Miles Thomas house for dinner. Miles goes to Saint Charles Presbyterian church (the church that sponsors Camp Rhino) and when he found out we were coming he decided to host us for dinner tonight. What a small Presbyterian world 👌🏾. We had some good ole BBQ and got to see his lovely family and friends.
Once again, thank you all again for giving your youth the opportunity to serve New Orleans with me. Special thanks to Larry Boyd, Suanne Hall and Whitney Ramseur for helping out chaperoning.
The story of Our Mascot LEONIDAS. Leonidas was discovered humbled and abandoned on Leonidas st, the site of the first day of demolition, and the group took mercy and rescued him from the pits of despair and has giving him his purpose for us. Please welcome and meet Leonidas!
June 15, 2017
As we have officially hit Hump Day, we are struggling to realize that it is only our 2nd day of work and the week is now about over (Larry is over thinking it is Tuesday 😭).
The demolition continues but at a rate that is way too fast to keep them busy. One group finished their three day project in just a day and a half. Talk about doing work and getting work done!
Group two, received orders to go help out Ms Janet in the lower 9th and do a lot of exterior and interior painting along with ripping up floor boards and laying down new ones. Amelia Hornaday found a new friend in Ms Janet's granddaughter Demy (age 6, just totally adorable) and the two connected in an usual way that allowed Demy to show off her gymnastics and dancing abilities. Demy says she wants to grow up to be a painter just like our site leader Max.
During our free times, the group decided to go on an adventure and walked to a park close to campus.
And we explored the infamous Café Du Monde and got the classic beignets.
Overall the trip is great and I am sure you miss your young ones an incredible amount. We will be leaving TOMORROW MORNING after breakfast and the projected time is around 11 PM tomorrow evening.
Stay tuned for chapter 4 later and the story of our mascot Leonidas.