For only having a half day of work, it was quite the eventful day. We scarfed down our French toast and hit the ground running. We arrived at Ms Clare's at ten til nine and immediately started finishing our projects. We did way more than the original list so they gave us more to get done.
Over the course of three and a half days, the teens (with the chaperones help) put spindles on the front deck, stained the spindles and railings (2 coats), "deck - overed" the floor of the front deck (2 coats), stained with deck-over the back deck, emptied her shed and put her things under the canopy tent they constructed... which then they decided needed to be moved to the back of the house, so they moved it again. .. tore the three layers off of the shed's roof to get to the frame, weed whacked her entire lawn, pruned her trees and shrubs, landscaped the new flower beds, bought the plants for the beds, and visited with Ms. Clare (before and after her fall). Whew! They really were "all in" this week!
At noon we finished cleaning up and Ms. Clare shared her story. It was very heartbreaking and moving. .. please ask one of the teens (or chaperones) to tell you about it. I don't feel comfortable sharing her personal info on the internet. I'm not sure she would mind, but I do. After group hugs and pictures, we said goodbye to Ms. Clare, Mr Frank, and Bella, the pooch and left to drop Adam and John's truck back off at camp.
We grabbed our bags and went to get gas and fast food lunch. After eating we went to the Cherokee National Forest to swim at the Blue Holes. It was a gorgeous day and the weather felt great. We warned the teens that the rocks could be slippery when wet and they went bounding over them. We had a couple slips but thankfully no one got seriously injured. They really just seen to like to hang out together.
We left the holes and went to Pizza Hut for dinner and headed back for chapel. After the usual wonderful singing and dancing, we had a message and special prayer service about leaving whatever brokenness behind and putting on Christ. We were led outside and prayed as just our small group. After prayer, I had the honor of praying over our group and blessing them individually by name. I love this part of the week because it gives me the opportunity to affirm the wonderful Catholics that they are. .. and to remind them that they are a true blessing to our community!
After the prayer service we went back to our small group space and shared "The best part of their week... it didn't have to be good, just the best". It led to tons of great comments and memories. I was truly moved by their openness and love for one another. We brought an extra youth group shirt along and everyone signed the back of it. They are going to present it to Adam tomorrow night to say thanks.
We were all pretty exhausted by now so we went back to our cabins to go to sleep. As Emily went upstairs to get a moth (!) from their room, the infamous mouse showed up and the screaming began. They went to go get John and Ed from their cabin (I was with Casey and McKenzie calling Caitlin to wish her a great trip! ) We get back and all three lights are on in both cabins and while they got the mouse to go downstairs, into the leaders room, they never caught the little bugger! They promised to take care of it for us tomorrow. .
On that happy note, We bid you good night from Camp Jabez. Praying unceasingly. ...