I’m happy to inform you that we have survived our first full day of our mission trip! This morning we woke up grateful for a good night's rest in the basement of St Mark’s. Like last year, we are blessed with wonderful hosts at St Mark's and at the Norris Recreation Center where we use the facilities. And after working outside this afternoon, I know some of us are saying extra prayers of thanks for both of these blessings tonight.
We started the day off with one of our favorite serving opportunities at Feed My Starving Children. While there, we worked as teams to help pack food bags to be sent out to children who may not otherwise eat well. It is an amazing organization and it is a great opportunity for the kids that are five and older to get a hands on serving project. It’s indescribable how moving it is to watch our kids and friends work passionately as teams to serve as many as they can. God worked through us and we were able to help pack 191 boxes which equates to 41,256 MEALS in just one morning of packing! We learned about a sweet girl named Corina who lives in Ukraine who benefited and thrived thanks to this organization and packs just like the ones we filled. Also, we each tried this summer to raise some funds to donate to FMSC today and with that money, they will be able to feed at LEAST seven kids for a whole year, all by the grace of God.
As I mentioned yesterday, we were very eager to help St. Mark’s knock out some major to dos. They have been so generous to host us, feed us and volunteer with us that it only feels right to find small ways that we can make their life a little easier as well. One way we were able to do this was by splitting into teams to take on different tasks. One team set out to fix their spotty WIFI. It wasn’t a planned task but like most of God’s little boosts, we saw a need had the tools on hand, and had the expertise in a few of our brains and hearts that were ready to serve. A second team headed downstairs to put together a new preschool room, because they’ve been blessed so much this year that they’ve been able to expand a little.
Two teams headed outside to do some groundskeeping tasks like laying mulch and seeding the lawn and by the end of it they had the area looking mighty fine. Another team headed out to pass out some flyers for the Block Party this evening. This task was a little more complicated than we had originally thought. Seeing kids get excited to invite people to come play and eat with us was awesome! However, the difficulties that come with several children in car seats getting in and out meant we had to get a little more creative and step outside our comfort zones. And, of course, the Block Party turned out wonderfully and we were able to dine, play, and have fellowship with new and old friends. The last team worked very hard with St Mark’s member Dennis, to make some meals for Lazarus House. As with any task God leads, things went His way and not ours, and they adapted to His plan with smiles on their faces and serving hearts making a meal for today and a few to freeze for future weeks.
Tomorrow we look forward to spending some time with the Residents at Bickford of St Charles Nursing home for an ice cream social. We are also super excited to take on our traditional Blessing Quest on the streets of St Charles. This is a new experience for many of us. But for those of us who have been there before, we know the awesome ways that God is able to work through us during this adventure.