What a Blessed Day! We had so much fun and got so much accomplished that I am exhausted just thinking about it! (Ok, really I am exhausted because I did it, but let’s not split hairs here!)
We got up this morning and ran down to breakfast. We had cheez-whiz omelets and hot dogs (again) along with hashbrowns. We made the executive decision that we would eat pretty quickly so we could get to Ms. Retha’s house before the 65% chance of rain hit. (I love Jake…when I mentioned there was a 65% chance of rain, he told me he was going with the 35% chance of non-precipitation) Turns out, he was pretty much correct. It only drizzled a little bit, and that was when we were already finished with the stuff we had left to do that wasn’t undercover. (Awesome!) We were able to get the whole list of items finished before we left for the day by working together and pushing each other to be the best we could be. It was great! The painting, brush clearing, and touch up items all got done along with the pole barn getting cleaned! I was so proud of the teens!
Last night after we blogged, Erich and I went to Walmart (on a scary pitch black country road with no street lights…….just saying) to get Retha a Birthday Cake. It turns out that her birthday is Friday and with no family, she decided that she would just work and maybe go out to eat. We picked up birthday cupcakes and a card and presented it to her when we were leaving her house. She was so touched she started to cry. The teens all gave her hugs and thanked her for letting us work on her home. She asked for our address and promised to write. It was kind of sad to see her standing on the porch waving goodbye, but as Ryan put it so well, she isn’t truly alone because we left our love for her in the new refurbishments we did to her home.
We got back to camp just in time to eat lunch (chicken nuggets and limp French fries...but great salad) and change into our bathing suits to go to the blue holes. As it turns out, we called to get better directions for the holes and they were closed because they had to release the dam due to all of the recent rain. We drove to Parkersville and went swimming at the lake there instead. I thought the teens would be disappointed, but they didn’t care as long as they got to spend the time together. They played chicken, climbed up on plastic buoys to jump off of them, and just enjoyed each other’s company. It was so much fun.
We left the lake and started to drive towards Blue Ridge, GA because the counselors told us there was this great ice cream place called C Bolts that we had to try. We got to the other side of Copperhill and realized that the work site we had the last time we were here was only about a block away, so we went and revisited it. Our porch and side steps/deck were still standing and in great shape! (Kudos to the team that went 4 years ago! ) Mrs. Galloway came out and said Hi to us and everything. It was kind of fun to revisit that time with our seniors.
After we left the Galloways, we stopped at the Tn/GA line and got our picture taken in two places at once! Casey was in heaven because she said it was on her bucket list. The rest of us hammed it up for the camera. We drove another 20 minutes into Blue Ridge and had dinner (courtesy of ‘Big’ John!) at the Serenity Garden Café. It was super yummy and a family stopped us to thank us for serving their community. It was neat to see the teens get recognized for what they did by total strangers.
We walked across the street and had ice cream at the 3 Sisters Shop, (They won an award at the daytime emmy’s, so it was fun to see it in real life) and then headed back to chapel.
Tonight’s chapel was all about the idea of taking it home and knowing that we are loved by God. It was fun to sing and dance for Jesus one last time and then we watched a video that the counselors made for all of the groups. Dan gave the witness talk and then each individual group was led outside to their tiki torch that was lit and we circled around it. Eli gave me a bucket of sand and explained to the teens that in order to build our foundation on the “The Rock of Jesus” we had to be willing to give up the ‘sandy foundation’ in our lives. That is, whatever is holding us back in our faith lives. Each teen was to take a handful of sand and then release it at some point of the evening, symbolizing leaving their sandy foundation and returning to the Rock that is Jesus Christ. Eli then left to go and play the guitar for all of the groups and I went around the circle and asked God’s blessing on each of the teens as I prayed over them. After everyone was blessed, we tossed our sand over our shoulders and went to the cross in the middle of the field. At the base of the cross was a giant metal tub of sand with rocks hidden at the bottom. We ‘dug’ through the sand to get our rock and then went back to the chapel to have our individual group time. We talked a lot about our day, and did our “best part of the day, Hey Gods, Yeah Gods, and Mad Props.” It was very special because the teens bought each of the leaders plastic ducks (long story….ask one of us who went) that represented our personalities. (Have I told you in this post that I love our teens yet?)
Now we are off to bed (or to blog) and many of us will choose to sleep in tomorrow morning. It’s another big day. Praying for lots of fun and laughter. We miss you all and pray for you nightly!