Monday, July 27, 2009

Greensboro, NC

The strangest thing has happened to our family! We're home, in our own house, for FIVE DAYS!! Shocking, I know! Luke (9 yrs old) saw me unpacking all our stuff and in shock said, "What are you doing?!" I said, "We're gonna be home for a week." And he said, "A WHOLE week??!!"

We've had a great summer so far, the easiest two weeks are ahead of us, the hardest one is done! :) While we were in Greensboro, NC we stayed at a huge church. In the 70's, it was located in a rich, white neighborhood and was the largest Baptist church in NC. Today, it exists in a poor, black neighborhood with twenty members: average age 85, youngest age is 62. The church still exists in it's same location!

A few months ago, we went to help clean out this old church to make room for air mattresses, sleeping bags and 200+ teenagers to spend a week! There were supplies that any church would be thrilled to have! More cribs, than most churches have, and all covered in plastic. They haven't been used in YEARS! Classroom upon classroom, piano upon piano. We found at least 15 pianos, 3 of them baby grands. Only one of them used for Sunday service.

We moved in this past week, with about 200 students. We had several local churches join us for the mission work, so we were dealing with over 300 people each day. But probably around 200 stayed over night. All I know, is I got up every morning at 5:30 (5:00 if I wanted a shower) to get bagged lunches ready for 315 people! What a job that was! :)

We did a million different jobs there in Greensboro, the same type as we have at all the previous locations. But the main difference, was we were involved in mission 24/7. Some local youth ended up hanging out with us, round the clock. And by local, I mean local neighborhood kids. These were tough kids. But we fed them, played basketball with them, and loved them the best we could. I know we made a difference, at least for that week, they had a solid dinner each night.

One young, tattooed guy stepped in to get some supper the first night we were there. And he looked around and said, "whoa! Is this a church or something?" When we assured him it was, he said he hadn't stepped foot in a church in eight years. He said, "I believe in God and all, I just don't believe in church." Such is the said commentary of our days, I'm afraid. I told him since he's stepped foot in a church, he may as well go to our worship service. And he did, every night we were there. One night, he even recommitted his life to following Christ. I pray he can surround himself with people who will support him! His name is Mike.

I met lots of Mike's this week. I met a recovering drug addict named Mike. He was there to be seen on the Medical Dental bus that was being housed out of the church we were staying in. He got his teeth cleaned, and then miracles of miracles, made it onto the list to get a nasty tooth pulled. Usually, there are so many people that you can only have one option. But the dentist that day was only wanting to pull teeth (they are all volunteers) and we ran out of patients who needed their teeth pulled! So we called Mike back and he got to get that fixed at least. I hope it made a difference for him, to know people cared.

We also had our first outbreak of illness! It started with one girl vomitting, and by the end of the week we had sent six kids home and five more were in bed sick, there at camp! :) So far, so good. Apparently, just a bad virus..but by the time I had emptied my 2nd GARBAGE bag full of vomit, I had had about enough!

So we're home until Friday. We're debating taking a few days family trip to the beach. Luke wants to go, Andrew wants to enjoy time at home. So we'll see who wins out!:)

Wednesday will be 14 years of marriage for Mike and me!! Life gets sweeter, let me tell you! There were some rough years! Being poor, and in college, with a new job and a new baby and not enough money to last until the next paycheck can be rough!! I think we're finally getting it after 14 years! :) He's a great guy!

No stitching here! I tried the other day, and some today too...But I don't feel like stitching anything I have started and nothing new is catching my eye. I think I'm just tired!!

My sister comes next week, during our last week at camp. Then she leaves on a Thursday and my mom comes on that Sunday for a few days. That'll be nice!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Red Springs, NC

I'm sharing space with over 200 teenagers. The building where we are almost always together, is an old Sara Lee plant. (didn't they make cookies?) It basically a big square building with rooms built in the one area. They have a warehouse full of any type of tool you'd ever need. A huge kitchen, big eating space and a worship center. But except for the rooms and warehouse, it is all one continuous room. And let me tell you, the noise level is incredible!!

Last night around supper, after every single camper was of our college workers and I stood and listened in amazement to the loud humm of noise!

We have 18 different teams doing all types of things! Red Springs has a huge population of Lumbee American Indians, second in population is African American and 3rd is Anglo. We are working at three boys and girls clubs in nearby towns and it is awesome. Today, one of the clubs is going to do an old fashioned Friendship Powow Dance, in full costume! It'll be awesome! As usual, we're doing a few Bible clubs. We've got seven different construction teams out and we have three teams that are going to Senior Centers to sing and visit with the residents there. Hopefully we are making a Deep Impact around Red Springs!

Red Springs is also home to MILLIONS of fire ants, and I think this building was built right on top of all of them. Poor DH got into a mess of ants! they were in the trailor drawers!! nasty little boogers! Got rid of them, finally and woke up the next morning to a camper who had a bed full of them! So I got rid of all of them for her... so far, so good today! :)

Thanks for following along with us this summer. We head to Greensboro, NC on Saturday. We'll have 350 youth there!!!

p.s. I have taught three people how to stitch so far this summer! :) The first one I taught is on her 3rd project already! So I haven't completely abandoned the art! But all my stitching time (which isn't much) has been spent helping them! Ah well..

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

East Stroudsburg, PA

We are loving the town of East Stroudsburg, PA! The best thing is the temperatures! :) It's low to mid 70's, and so cool in the mornings you need a sweatshirt! (very strange for us, this time of year!) Have no fear, next week we will be in Red Springs, NC where the forecast is upper 90's, not counting any humidity! Maybe we'll finally warm up a little bit!

We are working with a church plant here, and the work is not our usual type of work! So that's taking some adjustment, but we are having a good time and hopefully making a different here in the town! We are working with an environmental project and carefully removing weeds from their riverbeds. I figured little, vein type weeds...oh no! These weeds are 10 ft tall, actually they look a lot like a corn stalk!

We have to remove the seed head with scissors, to prevent the spreading of the plant. Then we knock the things down with our feet. Another crew that comes in will cut up all the stalks that are laying flat all over the ground, and then as a final step, they will remove them by their roots. I guess they really are disrupting to the local wildlife and also does something to the ground soil. SO, we are helping to remove them!

Yesterday Luke and I helped. Luke had a ball knocking those things down! In fact, he chose to keep doing that in place of going to the pool!

We saw a momma duck and five babies fighting the rapids in the river. The kids we were workign with saw two baby deer across the river! Wah, I missed it! The college kid who is running the project this summer said the five in our group did more yesterday than the 12 boys scouts he had all last week! :) Course they were probably 8-10 yrs old and we're highschool and 30+, but we still were proud of ourselves!

Andrew came home from working at the Salvation Army yesterday and fell asleep at 7pm and woke up at 6:30 am for breakfast! Luke went to bed at 12:00 am (as is usual for our summer schedule) and didn't wake up until 10:00am! Think our kids are worn out?

We get to spend the day tomorrow (my birthday) in New York City! I'm excited about that. We're taking the 65 youth+leaders with us, but I'm hoping they will all explore by themselves and we can wander around with our family! Friday we head back to NC for a board meeting for Mike, and then to Red Springs for a week and then Greensboro, NC for a week. THEN a five day break! Then two more weeks!

The summer is flying by, but we are having a blast and we pray we are making some type of difference along the way!

I noticed my blog went over 10,000 the other day! Yahoo! I'm excited about that! Wish I knew who you all were personally! But thanks for reading my blog! I'll do some type of drawing when I get home to celebrate!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Deep Impact

Curious as to what we do all summer?! Here are two articles that were written about DH and what we do! :)

This report was written by a lady that came down and spent two days wiht us at our first camp.[tt_news]=240&tx_ttnews[backPid]=469&cHash=9dd422ecdd

Mike was interviewed by this reporter, the day after we got back from Honduras.

We head to PA tomorrow. We'll just drive a little bit back to our house and hit the sack, and then get up bright and early on the 4th to drive up there to spend the week.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Holy Smokes!:) What an adventure! We were in Honduras for ten days. While we were there, we lived through a military coup! The president was arrested and taken to Costa Rica for trying to have an illegal vote. Riots in the streets, protesters, churches cancelled, road curfews, country wide power outages, etc.etc!

We were to leave at 7am on Sunday,and arrive in Tegucigalpa at 11:30AM. When we arrived at the airport at 4AM we found our airline was cancelled by American and we weren't leaving until NOON. That made us miss our only connection into Teguc, which meant we overnighted in Miami. We left the next day on the same time originally connecting us to Teguc. So we arrived a total 24 hours later than we were supposed too. Which meant we arrived AFTER all seven of our church teams! We were supposed to get there 24 hours before, so we could do all our errands, set everything up, etc. Instead we were the last at camp! :) Worked out fine, and was sort of nice in the end! :)

The first day or so of camp was uneventful, besides getting 89 people used to living in a foreign country! :) Eventually we started hearing word of everything going on in the capital city. We were staying at a beautiful camp at the outskirts of the city, but had to drive through the town to get to our three mission site locations each day. We were certainly never in any danger (except for the possibility of not getting out of the country), but we were also skirting danger all the time.

One day Mike got a call, and the missionary that livest here full time (who we were working with), said riots were starting and we had five minutes to load 89 people, at three separate sites, into three buses and get them on the road! :) Miracles of all we did it! One bus was about five minutes slower than the other two, and ended up at camp a full hour behind the rest of us. They sat in traffic all that time. Thankfully it started DOWN POURING and apparently Hondurans don't like to protest and riot in the rain! :) Stuff quieted down the next day and we were able to go back to our sites and do the final day's celebration/party with the kids.

That Saturday we were supposed to go to this little outdoor market, and thought we were going to have to cancel the trip. We were able to go, by way of a different route..and had a great time. Again, on the way home, when the riots were supposed to start, it started to rain really hard and we made it home muddy, but safe!

Sunday we were planning to go back to the three local churches we had worked with all week, and have worship with them. But their services were mostly cancelled. We stayed at the camp all day and enjoyed the rest. There was an underlying nervousness of getting out of the country, but never were we in any danger!

We were in constant contact with the US Embassy there in Tegus. The last hurdle was we had 98+pieces of luggage and the three buses could only carry 45 TOTAL. We had a little moving truck planning to come to carry all the luggage, but there was a curfew put on the roads and we weren't sure he'd make it out to camp. Nor if he would even show up! So we had everybody repack their priority suitcases, most churches were cramming into less than three suitcases! Some were willing to leave it all behind! The power was supposed to be out that day, in fact in town the power was out for about ten hours. Out at camp, where 89 people were trying to repack their luggage, the lights stayed on all night. And thank God for that, because we would have been trying to do all that by flash light!

We planned to leave for the airport on Monday morning at 6am, get there by 7am, riots were to start at 8am. We got there fine, though it was a nervous trek there! We were on the road earlier than the curfew allowed, so we had special permission from the Embassy to be on the roads. Our groups left at noon, we left on the last flight at 2:00.

True to form, our flight was an hour late leaving, then we arrived in Miami and had to sit on the runway for 30 minutes waiting for a gate to park in! THEN going through customs and immigration was a joy, as usual! We gave our luggage back to the handlers at 8:30 PM, our flight was departing at 8:40PM. Thankfully, for us, the connecting flight was delayed until 9:30. BUT it never left until almost 11pm, which didn't put us in to Raleigh until 1:00am!

By the time we got home, it was 2am! I woke myself up on the hour, to put new loads of laundry in the machine. I didn't even fold them when they came out, just threw them on the couch! By the time we woke up at 7am, I had done almost six loads of laundry. The two college girls who were with us and I went to the laundry mat at 8:30 and did another four loads! Four people build up a lot of nasty dirty clothes over ten days! We took our suitcases into the laundry mat and just refolded everything into the suitcases! Ran to Walmart for some essentials, left the town by 11:00am, reloaded all our supplies at the office and then were on our way to the big town of Red Springs, NC. We'll work here for the next four days with about 90 people. Then we'll drive to PA for a week of work, we'll leave on Saturday.

Back to Red Springs for a full week, to Greensboro for a full week then we have FIVE DAYS OFF! Thank you God! :)

During the trip to Honduras, we saw God work in many, many ways! :) Despite constant calls and warnings of danger, we were always safe. We were able to start and complete a cement home for a lady and seven children. We did sports camps in the city. We went into schools and worked with kids there. And we did three Bible clubs in the three local churches we worked with. We had 200 each day (we did a morning and afternoon session) at each location minimum! We had 17 translators, whom we couldn't have lived without! That's for sure!

We have lots of awesome memories, I met two kids I would have loved to bring home with me! Whenever I get a minute (probably the end of July), I'll share some pictures!

Not done a single stitch, though I did teach one of our college girls and she has been stitching like crazy! :) Well, wait... I did stitch about 3o stitches on that Sunday we all sat around camp!

That's enough for now! I have lots of work to do here, plus Andrew is dying to use the computer! :)