Another 5:30 alarm, I am very grateful that the East Coast is three hours ahead of the West Coast. Otherwise, convincing my body to get up this early on a Saturday would have been less than fun. The egg dish made a reappearance this morning, and blueberry pancakes were also a hit. We had a hard time fitting everyone on the early bus today; several work crews were eager to catch up with the houses and yet VBS was all expected to go at 7 as well. We ended up leaving some of our VBS crew behind to help make sandwiches for lunch. They could join us at 8. Unfortunately, we also left the medic behind. I say unfortunately because we had just gotten off the bus (after it made the slightly-scary journey along the narrow road squeezed between the railroad tracks and the steep drop-off of the hill) when Jenn slipped and hurt her ankle badly.
Stacey at snack time
The VBS med kit was locked in the lower level of the church, but we were able to borrow supplies from another team. We originally thought it was a bad sprain, but she was walking on it by the next evening.
Once we were past the craziness of the early morning (Jenn's injury, trying to get into the locked space to set up, relocating my area up to the church's main floor since my previous space was filled with furniture and noise), we were able to focus on the day's lesson: How to Be Like Jesus. I read the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 with only a little fish and bread to start. Our snack for the day were cheddar Goldfish crackers to fit with the story. However, the kids were not big fans of the crackers, much to the surprise of our high schoolers.
Jamie at crafts
I had a lot of distractions to deal with up here between the construction on the church and the Mizpa Ranger training going on (kids doing push ups, marching in line). One of my favorite memories of the day was when a few of the girls found the multiplication flashcards donated by Mark. They immediately asked me to show them the cards and they were excited to show off the ones they knew. One of the boys joined in too.
Although this was the last morning of VBS, we still had some kids hanging around the church for the rest of the day. I, however, would not be found in the church but on the road below the church. My building skills are less than capable, so I stayed away from the houses. I didn't want to be responsible for someone's home falling apart in the middle of the night! However, I could help with building 4' x 4' garden boxes.
Ashely, Krista, Mark
I partnered with Krista; she did most of the nailing, I did the holding. Once enough boxes had been built, we started going out into the community to fill the boxes with four bags of dirt and then sixteen plants (four tomato, twelve pepper). The families were so grateful for what we were doing; I had not experienced this openness much since I had not really left the church the previous two days but now I was welcomed in. One woman showed Heather and me an amazing painting that at first glance was the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe. Closer inspection revealed the design to actually be a composite of many faces. At other houses the men came out with their own digging implements to help Mark, Kyle, and Seth to break up the hard ground.
Emily, Ashley, Kyle
We finished at a house quite a distance up the hill. When we entered the yard, we were immediately struck by how many flowers this woman had coaxed to grow in the desert environment. Out of time for the day, Tina and her boyfriend drove us back in their van. There were six of us sitting on top of bags of dirt; we tried not to fall on top of each other when the van hit the bumps, sometimes more successful than others.
Dinner that night was served in the Warehouse which had been decorated to resemble a medieval castle. It was a good
meal of steak, beans, and bread. Dessert were delicious churros made just outside the doors of the Warehouse. Certificates were also handed out for hard workers, and I was pleased to see how much our group had contributed to the overall work. Nine families now had homes with solid floors, walls, roofs, and doors.