On Wednesday we had a very long and full day. Same morning routine and day at camp. We had a lot of fun with the kids. One quite powerful thing did happen today. One of the camp counselors had an allergic reaction to something and Santhosh was able to help get her stabilized and took her to the hospital. It was a pretty serious situation, and his expertise was invaluable! After the camp we returned to the hotel for just one hour, then we loaded up and headed to the bazaar for some souvenir shopping. It was quite an experience and gave us a chance to see life downtown. Our bodies are still adjusting and we were all quite tired. They eat dinner between 8-11pm here, so the adjustment in daily rhythm has been interesting as well. We went out for a great dinner together about 10pm. Another change for me is not having coffee all throughout the day, and I was personally was so exhausted that I was falling asleep at the table. We got back to our hotel at 1am. Talk about a long day. I have been so impressed with our team. We are working hard, it is hot out, and we are maintaining a pretty rigorous schedule as our awesome hosts really want us to experience Egyptian culture, but everyone is remaining very positive. I am so proud of everyone and the unity they are exemplifying. Those who were experiencing some stomach issues yesterday were mostly doing better, but a few others were hit today. From experience this is just a normal occurrence when traveling internationally as the bacterias are different than our bodies are used to, and from what the folks at camp say this happens to all of the Americans who come. We have been very blessed to have Dr. Santhosh on our team, and we are embracing the joy of the Lord as our strength and the truth that His grace is sufficient for us. I would love for us to all be able to enjoy our time without “the revenge of the Pharos,” so please pray that we could all experience a healing touch and be rid of these stomach aches.
Today our three teams 1) did yard work for a lady who has a physically handicap, 2) put together shelves, sorted and organized food and clothing donations at the Shelter Rock Church food pantry which serves our community, and 3) did some organization and cleaned toys for our kids ministry in preparation for Easter.
Today we headed out for our 5th Annual Love Long Island, two days of serving our community during spring break. We sent one team to Guardian Angel in Sea Cliff, a ministry that helps women and children. We helped organize their thrift shop and storage, cleaned, and did some gardenig. The second team went to Horseability in Old Westbury, a program that utilizes horses to help rehabilitate and improve the lives people with special needs, the elderly, and veterans. Our team did yard work and then cleaned out a paddock, a very important job to keep the horses healthy so they can help the riders they serve.
This morning we partnered with the Legacy Center in Brooklyn where we helped work in their warehouse. We unloaded a truck, sorted food and donated items, and packaged household goods for distribution. We returned to Living Waters for lunch and team debriefing then packed, cleaned, and are enjoying a little free time before heading back to Shelter Rock. It’s been a wonderful mission trip! Excited to see our families tonight!
Today our team went to the Bowery Mission in lower Manhattan to serve. The Bowery Mission is the third oldest mission in the United States. It has been serving the homeless and needy since 1879. We sorted donated food, cleaned, prepared and served lunch to 270 people. It was a wonderful experience and the team did a great job. Afterward we took the kids to Chinatown to do a little shopping, and then had dinner in Little Italy. This evening we had a time of debriefing our day, worship, and prayer. There are two other teams staying here at Living Waters with us, and the team from Canada returned from their out reach while we were in worship, and it was awesome to see them jump in with us. We had a wonderful time singing together.
Today was day 1 of our Jr. High Mission trip to New York City. Our team lead worship for the church service at Living Waters Fellowship, the church that is hosting us, and I preached. After lunch we had time to unpack and settle in. After dinner we had an orientation, Natalia shared a devotional, we took down the chairs in the sanctuary, then went to dinner. This evening we made approximately 60 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches which we will be distributing to the homeless. Before heading up to our rooms for bed we had some ice cream, sharing, worship, and prayer. Excited for a great week of serving Jesus!
Last week I had the great joy and privilege of speaking at a Group Mission Trips Workcamp in Pocahontas, Virginia. It was a blast being able to share and see students out serving. There were 216 campers from 14 churches and 8 different states. They served on 37 different work crews at 25 different homes and completed all of their projects. They served a total of 6,480 hours and also donated 2,050 cans of food to bless the community. So proud of them!