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!


Lisa said...

After the summer you have had, I am sure that HOME is a very nice word! And that part is something I understand after all the travel my family experienced from January-April. You are definitely an inspiration and I am so glad that you are posting the experience on your blog. What a great experience your children and other children are getting. God Bless you and your family (and Happy Anniversary a day early!).

Beth said...

Sara, I'm so glad you're doing this and so glad you're blogging about it. Enjoy your time off!

Juanita said...

Happy Anniversary!!! Hope you two had a nice one.I'm so glad you are blog your experience.I really enjoy reading this.God will bless you,Enjoy your time off. And being with your Mom and Sister.We miss you at the last Tarheel meeting.

Carolyn NC said...

Wow - what an awesome experience in Greensboro and everywhere else this week. Happy anniversary to you both - enjoy your day and your time home. :)