Lifesong's Katrina Relief Team

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Thursday News

Hi everyone!

I’m super excited to have the chance to share with you the many, blessed opportunities we’ve had during our trip. We can’t believe we only have one more full- day here in Louisiana.

Just like most of the teens, this is my first mission trip. So imagine my nervousness about traveling to a new place, wondering how difficult or tiring the physical work of rebuilding a home may be, and then to have to help lead a group of energetic teenagers!!

I can honestly say I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. We are taken care of so well by the Reach Global staff. It is such a good balance of serving by doing some labor, of learning new skills (Phil will be so impressed at my ability to handle tools now J), of meeting new people, and of sharing Christ together. Brian asked me if I’d want to return, and I’m already thinking of my next break from school. The need for more volunteers and workers is great. For example, the home we’ve been working on will have to wait another week or so before any more work can be completed.

It’s been apparent that our whole group has been covered with prayers. Brian, Brad, Dana, and I are operating on 3-4-5 hours of sleep a night and yet we’re able to work AND hang out with these kiddos. Thank you so much for lifting us up!

It’s such a blessing to observe the bonding and growth made by our youth group. They are meeting so many wonderful people who are living out the gospel by dedicating their lives to help those in need. I just love looking around the room and hearing their laughter and joy on their faces. There are so many inside jokes between the two teams and fond memories. Be sure to ask about the mud fall, yogurt, singing Disney songs, touching the ceiling, fear of moths, bugs on the Levy, the spectacular April Fool’s joke, the discouraging generator—there are certainly more but I wanted to give you parents and friends some specific “conversation starters” (my team has probably had enough of my questions already!)

Beyond all the fun, there has been a focus on prayer and taking those steps to be bold for Christ and carrying out the Great Commission. Spending time with Dorothy (our homeowner) and meeting her family has shown our team that we’re all the same no matter what culture we share or where we live. We need to take the time to slow down a bit and be intentional in connecting with the people around us. We can’t share the gospel without first having some kind of relationship together. These are the lessons I’m taking home with me.

At the beginning of the trip, I was thinking we were all making sacrifices to be here. It’s the opposite. I want to thank you for the privilege to serve with our awesome Wildfire kids!

~Auntie Sam

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Hello Friends and Family!

If you haven’t noticed, the blog posts have been short for words, misspelled and grammatically incorrect. What does that spell out…….kids! Of course as I write this I’ve already misspelled 3 words, can’t figure out how to post pictures and I don’t know what the password for the blog is.

I wanted to give a little more content for our trip so far. As the kids have said our days have been packed. We start with breakfast at 6:30am, devotional led by the Reach Global staff, prepare lunch then head to the worksite. Our drive is about 45 minutes into the New Orleans city proper from the warehouse where we’re staying. Add in about 6 hours of manual labor then back to the warehouse around 6pm. Most nights we’ve had some kind of training or activity as well as some team bonding time. Lights are supposed to be out at 10pm but I think 11:00 has been our earliest night so far.

The kids have been great! There’s been multiple times where flexibility is crucial and everyone has been quick to help and adjust as needed. Our group (Kaitlin, Emily, Meghan, Caleb, Auntie Dana and myself) has been laying tile in a large dining room for Mary Hart. It’s a blessing for me because tiling may be the only skill I have some experience with. It has also been a challenge though because it’s laying tile…….over…….and over……and over.

A couple of highlights for me came today. As half of our group went on a prayer walk we met one of the neighbors in the community and got to hear a little of his story. At the end we were able to pray with him. It was a cool experience just to meet him but for me, it was awesome to see the excitement from Kaitlin and Emily about our encounter. It was a practical way that we were able to share what we were doing and love on the community that we’re serving. The second highlight was the block party that we had this afternoon in a different part of town where the other team (Christian, Kristin, Karis, Karina, Auntie Sam and Uncle Brian) is working. It was a chance to spend time with the community and family whose house we’re working on. There were a lot of kids playing and parents hanging out which was fun and special to be a part of.

Please continue to pray for us. Thursday will likely be the last day at our sites. We’re scheduled to help at the warehouse on Friday morning which means that Thursday will be our last chance to finish our projects. Please pray especially for the tile to be completed in the room.

Thank you all for your prayers and support. My two prayers for the trip were for relationships within the team to grow and for chances to share the gospel in different ways. God has been good in answering both! Praise him for that!

Uncle Brad

Block Party

So today was day three of working and we had a packed day. So after a day of tiling grouting, sanding and painting we had a block party at Ms. Dorothy Murray’s house. It was a blast. We set up a few tables and made hot dogs for the community. A lot of little kids showed up and it was really fun to play  and interact with them. At the end we prayed with Ms. Dorothy and her family. photo (2)

Let’s get down to buisness!!

Today we got the opportunity to split into two teams and work on Mary Hart and Dorothy Murray’s houses. Throughout the working hours we were able to walk through the neighborhoods and see great work that has been previously done to rebuild the community. Now you can hire us to put in your tile or put up your dry wall for just minimum wage 😉

 

Mary Hart’s House

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Dorothy Murray’s House

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Can’t wait for day two of working!

 

 

Blessings in disguise!!

Hi ya’ll!!

It’s only the 2nd day and there have been several blessings already! From having good health and weather, being at peace during Karis’ first flight, to the whole team being able to travel together… God has definitely been at work already, and we can’t wait to see what else he has planned for us this week!

Today we went and visited the partner church to Reachglobal, Trinity Church!

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Don’t we all look extremely spiffy?!

We have had an excellent 2 days filled with great tasting of New Orleans food such as beignets, poboys, and Texas toast! We’re excited to see what else is in store for us! Tomorrow we start working on the homes!

Uh Oh! We have to go! Lights out at 10. We need our beauty sleep! Especially Uncle Brian and Brad 😉 HAHAHA

Returning Home…

(Pictured above, Chelsea, Jen, Kevin, Mark, and his son, Caleb)

It was a whirlwind calling and then a whirlwind week. It’s hard to believe the week is over and we’re back at home. In His time, He may reveal the full purpose of our trip to New Orleans, but up to this point in time, there are a couple of specific things He is teaching us. This past week, because we were not part of a team that we brought from Lifesong, we were able to serve both the team from Pennsylvania and also serve the TouchGlobal staff. By doing this, we were able to take a peek into the lives of the missionaries of TouchGlobal. Even though you might not immediately think of the TouchGlobal staff as missionaries because they live in the city with all the conveniences of a big city, they are definitely missionaries in every sense of the word. By spending time with the TouchGlobal staff, we had the privilege of getting to know them and see a little of their heart for the people of New Orleans. These missionaries all raise support, even though they are not living in a foreign country like what one’s perception might be. They have a heart for the Gospel and those who don’t know Him. They give their lives, whether it is full time or part time, to serve those in need and help others to serve God in this way. It was an amazing week, how God opened our eyes to see the life of an urban missionary. It has been a privilege to be sent back to NOLA by God and the Lifesong family. We are so grateful to be able to serve Him and TouchGlobal this past week and blessed by your support.
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:3-5

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Meet Ms. Bonnie

Meet Ms. Bonnie

We met Ms. Bonnie today, the owner of the home we are working on, and were able to pray with her. Afterwards, she told us of how she left her home the day before hurricane Katrina hit, but didn’t return for several weeks. Her mom and sister who live in the neighborhood, however, had to be rescued from a two story house by boat. While Ms. Bonnie has gone to church her whole life, she said it wasn’t until hurricane Katrina hit and she lost all of her physical belongings, that she realized that the only thiing that REALLY mattered was her relationship with Jesus. It was touching to hear about the growth of her faith in the midst of such tragedy and sense the peace and joy she now has.