Monday, June 30, 2014

Day 5

We woke around 8 am again and ate more cereal.  

After breakfast we cleaned the building as best as we could. The problem with this was as soon as you swept the hall and had it looking good someone wold come in from the outside and the wind would fill the hall with dirt. 

We got the place straightened up and we were watched pretty closely by Fernando and his family. I think since Pete was out of town he charged Fernando with the task of making sure we didn’t take off with anything.

Got the place cleaned out and then Ethan had our devotional that we had missed from the night before.
Then we said goodbye to Fernando, Juanita and their family.  For all the issues we had I do know that they appreciated the work that was done. Their were some teary eyes (Mady) and the goodbye did take a bit longer than expected. We took a few last pictures and loaded up for the drive back to ABQ.

We made it to Albuquerque early. Check in at the hotel was not til 3 but they were nice enough to let us in early provided we didn’t mind having our rooms on a lower floor. This was fine and it had an added bonus. The rooms this time around were adjoined. So the guys were on one side of the hall in 2 rooms. However unlike the first night there since the 2 rooms were connected by a middle door we let the boys bunk in one room and the male leaders bunked in the other. This was the single greatest idea of the trip and we can thank Matt Latall for that.

The ladies rooms were all connected to but their leaders stuck to the original room assignments.

A group of teens and a few leaders went downstairs to the pool. Lacy and Emily Coday and a couple friends and their family that live in ABQ come by to visit as well which was nice for them.
The teens eventually tired of the pool and came back upstairs.

Matt, Lacy and I ran to Target to pick up a few things. Matt and I because we needed stuff and Lacy because if you are going somewhere then Lacy is first in the van. She enjoys commerce.
Plus just between you and me one of the Indian fellas on the res took a shine to her and perhaps she missed him too so she wanted to get her mind off him.
That last sentence is very likely going to get me hit next time I see Lacy.
There was a dude in his late 40’s that I think had a bit of a crush on her because that last day working he followed her around helping. Don’t worry though Brandon, myself and the fellas kept an eye on that guy just in case. He was of course harmless. As long as you aren't a white dog on account of the fact he was the dude that ran over our friend.

Anyway so after target we returned to the hotel and got ready for dinner.

Ok what follows is the story I received from both guys involved in the “incident” that lead to a poorly planned and executed prank war between the boys and girls.

Here we go…..

We went down to the lobby/kitchenette of the hotel to warm up the baked spaghetti we had turned our regular spaghetti into the night before.
At one table was Brandon, Emily Whitten, Dalena and Cody. Cody got up to get something he forgot and the 2 girls told Brandon to do something to Cody’s baked spaghetti. Brandon touched it and they said “no, do something grosser” so Brandon licked the top of the square of spaghetti. It wasn’t until Cody had consumed the food.

Afterwords they told him. He was disgusted (but not too much he is a teen boy and food is food).
So he decided to play a prank on the girls. Now being a lover of classic sitcoms I know a prank war will be hilarious and assuming that our teens can take a joke I was more than happy to givee pointers.
The return prank was decided that the boys would put the girls bedding in the bathtub and get it wet. 
I assumed it was official bedding from the HoJo and not personal bedding.  I was wrong however and the 2 girls lost their minds.

They both completely denied having anything to do with Brandons violation of Cody’s dinner. 

So after a good sized fit Emily Coday, Matt and myself set out to find a laudrymat at 8:45 pm so the girls would be happy.

We found one after driving around for about 45 minutes. Turned out it closed but they were nice enough to let us in and we dried the blankets. Didn’t take very long because the boys had basically turned the water on then off again cuz they were pretty dry already.

While we were gone 2 things of note happened.

  1. Ethan had his devotion for the night.

2) Brandon ate a spoonful of straight miracle whip.  

Atleast I think he did. they recorded it to show me knowing my proclivities towards certain food. However the video starts, he apologizes to me and the spoon comes out of the jar and heads towards his mouth when I looked away and literally fought the urge to throw up. He honestly may have not actually done it. I will never know.

Chelsea, if your reading it I can only assume you have kissed that man at least once since his return and for that I am sorry.

Dalena had decided that she did want to get the boys back for the bedding incident. Emily W wanted nothing to do with it because she knew it was just going to escalate from there.  I knew it wouldn’t because Ethan had said after Dalena got them back he was gonna put the kibosh on pranks.
Dalena’s plan was to go into the boys room about fish and throw an ice bucket full of cold water on Tharon and Cody.
She did so and hilarity ensued and you would imagine.

More on that tomorrow.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Day 4

Day 4

Tuesday was a pretty exciting morning. Brandon had watched the episode of 30 Days where Morgan Spurlock went to a Navajo reservation for 30 days and he brought with him a goat as a gift to the family. They quickly dispatched the sheep and ate it that night as a welcome to Morgan.
Brandon had asked if I would find out if we could buy and kill a sheep. He was willing to do the killing and skinning and such so I asked Pete. He arranged for us to have a sheep delivered the next morning. For a price of course. Brandon and I split that cost our of our own pockets.

Bright and early 6:30 am we were gathered in the driveway, those of us who wanted to watch at least. Some didn’t want to watch and others would have if it were at a decent hour.

We unloaded the sheep. Brandon and Miki carried it over to the sand and Bobby the preacher from Sunday was there because it was his sheep we bought and he wanted to watch Brandon do it.

We had a short prayer and Brandon cut it’s throat……

Now this is going to get a little graphic so feel free to skip to the next couple paragraphs.

Brandon did a good job at cutting the throat. He held the head back by the horns and about 2 sawing motions produced a staggeringly loud spray of blood. Dalena immediately turned away and started crying. The rest of those out there stayed to watch I think more out of respect for the animal and the fact that we had it killed than morbid curiosity. 
I had never seen this done and was not quite prepared for the sounds and panic of the beast.
The Blood slowed down and the sheep was carried over to the building to basically field dress.
Brandon cut the back legs loose and the sheep started kicking. She was in fact not dead yet and Brandon quickly rectified that problem
Next they sawed off the head and laid it on the ground next to the animal. Cut the hide off and removed the lower legs. Tried desperately not to spill the contents of the sheeps stomachs (or that of the onlookers for that matter).
The Sheep was finished by Brandon and Bobby and moved into the kitchen.  

Still with me? Good.  

While we were watching Brandon Ethan discovered a small skatepark behind the school. It was put there for the community but insurance was too high so they and just let it go.  Didn't take Ethan long to get his board and he proceeded to skate thru breakfast.

Breakfast was provided by the girls. It was their time to serve and they made pancakes and bacon. I know, I know it was more work than cereal but we wanted the bacon grease for beans the next day and we had to have it done. This situation was ok with the majority of the girls. Not everyone however. We had a few issues this week with the “we GET to serve” attitude especially that morning but for the most part the teens were something to be proud of.

During breakfast I stepped outside for a second to get Dakota who was at the time rolling around the sketepark in a wheelchair. No injury mind you he just found a wheel chair and immediately took to it. He’s gonna make a very sporty cartoon elderly person one day.
So I opened the door and there was Pete standing over the body of a big white dog.
Now my initial thought was one of Panic. The natives were killing everything white and the revolution was about to start with us.
Pretty sure Pete read the shock in my eyes because he quickly explained that one of his volunteers had just ran over one of the reservation dogs.

The school we were at had 3 dogs just roaming in and out of the building and around the property. Becca and Issabella Tucker had taken quite a shine to the dogs and we made sure that the white dogs death was kept quiet for a couple days. Just didn’t want to upset the girls if we could help it.

After breakfast Ethan, Matt, Tharon, MIki and myself went to the Home Depot in Gallop to get the $80 in 2x4’s.

Trip was un eventful and while we were gone the teens both boys and girls cleaned the kitchen under the charge of Laura and Brandon.

We returned with the wood and knowing it wouldn’t take very long to use the 25 board we bought we only took a few of the teens with us the next day. Basically if you wanted to go or you were a huge help (Miki and Becca) we had you come with us.

The rest took care of a few things at the school.  

After a couple hours we were finished. We had exhausted our wood and our budget for supplies.  We managed to frame the entire outside, the master bedroom and closet inside in about 7 hours total with 23 or so people including Indians.

We went back to the school.

We killed some time and got some rest. At one point Ethan decided to take anyone who wanted to go over to some rocks and climb/hike.  Most people went. I did not, rather I napped.  Matt woke me after an hour or so and he and I proceeded to make dinner.

We were having that mornings sheep. As well as spaghetti because we were pretty sure some of the teens wouldn’t eat the sheep.  We were correct too.

We found the sheep in the fridge, or at least what was left of it. The Indians that had finished getting it ready for us and I thought was going to cook it for us had instead taken off with all but the spine and about 4 ribs.
We did the best we could. Matt made spaghetti and I cut as much meat off the spine as I could. They had also left us some scrap meat in the fridge that i managed to get enough meat off of to make a pretty decent pile.
I started by tenderizing it and then dredging it in flour and pan frying it. Then Matt mixed in some spices and it was pretty dang good.

Everyone  returned while we were cooking. Emily Whitten had an asthma attack on the rocks and they came back to rest. She was fine by the time they got to the school but still it scared a few teens.

Ely, Kenley, Becca, Isabella and Mady helped Matt and I finish dinner. Jaunita and Fernando showed up to help a little (well at least Juanita) and to eat with us.

I wanted the full experience and since I had paid half the price of the sheep  I asked if Juanita would prepare some of the innards the what they would normally eat them.

She proceeded to make chitlins, which I’m sure being in Missouri most of you are at least familiar with. For those who don’t it is intestine wrapped around stomach fat and fried.
She also prepared a mix, kind of a vegetable-less stir fry. Rather than veggies however they used spices, and the sheep’s organs, lungs, heart, large intestine and such.  
It was the worst thing I have ever put in my head.  Imagine the smell of a barnyard and then convert that smell to a flavor.  It was chaos. If given the option of  eating either another spoonful of that or an adorable kitten I would eat the kitten, before you could finish the sentence.

Matt Latall has a great story about the chitlins. He was working in the kitchen as Juanita was making the chitlins and she complained to him that the intestines were too clean. that "normally they leave a little of the stuff in there for flavor."
Flavor!?   It's poop not flavor!

Still a few others tried it.  No one actually ate more than a bite which by the sheer grace of God we managed to swallow.

After the meal those that didn’t cook got to serve by cleaning the kitchen.

Fernando had a video about the Navajo he wanted us to watch but it was too late and we passed.  
Pete showed up and we discussed the night before and I let him know my mind on the subject and we also told him we would be cleaning up and leaving in the morning.   

He told me some pretty intense stories about his people. He also said he wouldn’t be at the school on Wednesday, thanked us for our work and left.

Ethan and Brandon were outside discussing personal business for a couple hours and Matt, myself and the other leaders sent the teens to bed that wanted to go to bed. Forgoing the devotional until morning.  
The teens and leaders that didn’t go directly to sleep proceeded to talk, listen to music and dance. I went to sleep.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

New Mexico Day 3

Day 3

We woke early. I had told the team we were wanting to be on the road to the job site at nine.  Getting teens to genuinely care about being on the road at a certain time was something that we struggled with the rest of the trip.

The boys made breakfast and served the girls. Granted it was cereal but they still were required to fill bowls pour milk and eat after the ladies had started. As well as being responsible for clean up.

When breakfast was finished we headed to the site. The site was about 20 minutes away and when we arrived we saw the concrete foundation that had been poured for almost a year.
There we found Fernando again and it was in fact his home we would be framing. Currently him and his wife as well as there 6 children were living in a kinda rundown trailer.

This is where we met Virgil. Virgil was roughly in his sixties and was a carpenter by trade. He volunteered to build homes on the reservation for the particular ministry we were working with.
Virgil I found out later wasn't an actual volunteer, he did get paid for his time. He knew how to frame at least and while it was a little different than here in Missouri everyone caught on real quick.
The teens were assigned to be a helper to one person for 2 of them. So each indian and each leader for the most part had a boy and a girl to help them.
A few of the kids took to it right away. Don’t get me wrong, everyone helped but a few of the kids were just naturals. Becca Tucker being one of them. Becca’s work ethic is stunning. I’m pretty sure she outworked everyone of us but Matt and Ethan who dove right in.

Still there was some standing around because there were so many of us on this little 40x28 pad of concrete.

We stopped after a few hours to eat lunch. It was peanut butter and jelly. Laura and a couple of the girls had ran to Gallup to pick up a few things we needed for the evening that we had not picked up and to get a few veggies for dinner. Fernando’s wife was going to make us Navajo Tacos and we were missing a few ingredients.
Everyone pretty much got their fill. Juanita let us use her kitchen. The house was about what you would expect from the outside. Very small, however they did have cable.

The framing took about 5 hours when we ran out of wood.  Pete had changed our plans roughly a week and a half before the trip. Originally we were told we would be painting. Then pout of nowhere we were framing a house.
He told us what they needed, which was concrete anchor bolts and tools. Which we were more than happy to bring.
He never mentioned wood. I was later told that most people that come are charged a certain fee for staying at the school and that that helps pay Virgil and buy supplies for projects.  I was never told this during the planning.

Lets sidebar about the wind for a minute. We were in a valley and the wind never stopped. Never. It was either bad and blowing a little sand at us to zero visibility and sandblasting us.  There were several time we lost site of the vans. Even a few seconds it was so bad you couldn’t see the person next to you.
I had a sunburn a few weeks ago and had not peeled. the sand literally beat that layer of skin off me like I was molting.

So we were done for the day about 5:30 or so. 

While we were finishing up Brandon, Laura and a small group climbed one of the “mountains” behind us. Too much rock and vertical faces to call it a hill but not a huge climb or big deal. Still they and fun.

We left the job site and drove a ways down the road towards Gallop in order to get phone service.  On the reservation the only phones that worked was the Latalls and they let us use them any time we asked which was awful nice of them. The main reason for the drive was the fact that the Indians had asked if we could buy the wood to finish the project. This wasn’t in our budget and even though we came in quite a bit under budget we did not have the funds on us to really do much other than what we planned.

After talking to Kelly it was decided that we could either take up a small collection from the teens and buy wood or we could just sit down and figure how we could use the money we had and still make it home.  Etahn picked the latter for good reason. There was the fact that we were not told anything about paying for supplies and that we had told the kids not to bring too much money. Some didn’t bring any and others only brought a little so we didn’t feel it was on us to really ask them to part with it.

After our stop and everyone had talked to their respective loved ones we drove back to the school.  There the adults sat on a couple bunks and tried to decide how to find the money for the wood. If we didn’t provide any supplies we would be done with work. They didn’t have any other jobs going and we still had 2 days to work left.  We had framed 3 sides and really wanted to get the last wall up at least.
After discussing it and doing a lot of math we figured there was about an $80 leeway to play with.  I hunted down pete and told him we would buy as many 2x6’s we could get for the eighty. He wandered off and a little while later Fernando found me and told me that they found enough wood in the back to finish the wall and that they needed roughly 80 2x4’s to finish the framing. I explained that it was not feasible. That in order to comfortably make it home we could only spend the $80 which turned out to buy 25 of the boards. 

He said that was fine and we shook hands.

Every one was tired and we sat around for a couple hours waiting on the Navajo taco’s.  We ate and went back to our bunk rooms. 
By this time we were catching on to the fact that Ryleigh was not feeling well. She had skipped breakfast. Not eaten more than half a b burrito the day before and not drank much if any for 2 days. She was week had a slight fever and was flat refusing to eat anything. That was kinda scary luckily we had Emily Coday with us and she was amazing at taking care of Ryleight the rest of the trip.
The next day Ryleighs fever had broke but she still refused to eat. A problem that plagued us the rest of the trip. 

At one point Tharon decided to go for a jog. Tharon is a pretty amazing runner and Dakota decided to tag along.  Dakota was not used to running and especially not at that elevation and they returned with Dakota in tears and out of breath. He proceeded to drink a bottle of water and sleep until the devotion about 4 hours later.
Speaking of Tharon he had an experience that night with Pete. I won’t spoil it for you here.  I’ll let him tell it if he wishes.  While I was happy for him because it was to Tharon  “One of the best things that ever happened to me” and “if nothing else happened this week that was more than enough”

I had some issues with how it came about (on Pete’s end not Tharon’s) I can’t complain about the results. I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss it with Pete the next day which I did.

After dinner had wrapped up and we had rested a bit Ethan had our devotional.  It was on prayer.

Bed was next and the teen boys had taken it upon themselves to push all their bunks together side by side and create one mega bunk.

Another night of mumbles and snoring. Matt said I didn’t snore much which was technically because I had not slept much due to the circumstances of earlier that evening.

It was a long night.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Mexico Day 2

Day 2

Breakfast was served between 6-9 so a few of us gathered down stairs early for some complimentary goodies.  Wasn’t the best breakfast but it did the job.  Decent coffee though.

We checked out of the hotel and were on the road to Sagebrush Community Church around 10 am.  We made it there and as we were passing the front of the building we saw Jeff, Kara and the kids standing out in front.  We let the teens and a few leaders out and Matt, Brandon Ethan and myself parked the van and walked to meet the group.  The church was huge, which I suppose is why they call it a “mega church”.  It was great to see the Trujillo’s.  We went in and Kara suggested we visit the visitors desk for a little gift.  Which we did and all the leaders got a coffee mug and a small package of info about the church.  We talked for a few more minutes and made our way as a group to our seats.  We were in the back balcony and the place was packed.
Jeff said they run about 10,000 thru a week.  Got to see some of Jeff’s work on the screen and the service was pretty great.  The sermon was in the series “Defining Moments” and it was about stepping up and taking chances to do what God calls you to do.  
It was exactly what we needed to hear and and absolute blessing.

Brandon had an experience that was pretty great at the service and I’d love to tell you about it but I don’t feel that it’s my place. So suffice to say God had his hand on him during the service.
After the service we talked shortly and Jeff took us on a short tour of the facility.  We saw his office and such.  they had a service going on or we would have went a little more in depth.

For lunch we decided to LoveBomb the Trujillo’s by treating them to Twisters.  Matt and I are fans of the television show Breaking bad and since it was filmed in Albuquerque we wanted to eat at Twisters which is featured in the show as Gus Fring’s restaurant chain Los Polo Hermanos. 
The food was good and the company was better.  
I said the blessing for the meal when we all got set and there was a family near us the said amen and smiled at us after the prayer.  That was nice.

There was also a couple in Twisters that seemed interested in us.  The lady took our picture why we were sitting down so when they were about to leave I decided to LoveBomb them with dessert.  I picked some churros up and approached them.  I said “Excuse me.” and they turned around.  I introduced myself and tried to explain that we were a youth group from Missouri but it turned out they were French and spoke very little english.  I handed them the card and the churros and they seemed shocked. They tried to tell me no. They thought I worked at Twisters and was trying to sell something to them.  Finally they scanned the card and saw the “Jesus” which they recognized as Christo and they thanked me. I got a quick pic with them and they left.  

As more of us finished we gathered outside because there was a fence next to the building with a lama and an ostrich.  A few of the kids got their pics taken with the animals thru the fence because its kinda odd to see those particular critters outside of a zoo. 

After Twisters we went with Kara to Sam’s Club to load up on groceries for the stay on the reservation. Pete our Native American liaison had told us there was a full kitchen for us to use so we knew we needed to pick up a few things.

After Sam’s we said goodbye to the Trujillo’s til Thursday and headed to the reservation 2 and a half hours away.

We stopped once to get gas and a snack.  Ryleigh hadn’t eaten much if anything on the trip and we were trying to get her to grab a bit. She did end up eating about half a burrito.

I tried to LoveBomb the van with churros from Taco Bell but they were out and I just ordered a soda. They felt bad about not having the delicious pastries that they gave me my soda free so I ended up LoveBombed.

Then it was off to the Navajo Nation reservation at Smith Lake New Mexico.

We arrived at the reservation and unpacked.  I got to meet Fernando and Pete. I had talked to Pete on the phone but this was the first time I had laid eyes on him.
He was about 50 and little taller than me with the expected dark complexion. He was wearing a hat and he had a pretty thick head of hair that hung over his ears. 
While everyone got settled I walked with Pete and Fernando and they told me a little about the building.  It was a repurposed school they had purchased and cleaned up for the community.

There was a gym, a kitchen, the boys bunk room, the shop, a chapel room then the girls bunk room, a meeting room and an office.  The whole thing as you would figure with a school made big square so you could easily get from place to place.

We settled in and Pete told me there would be a short service in about an hour (7pm) because of course it was Sunday night.

I volunteered Ethan  and Brandon to play a song or two and Pete liked the idea. I then asked Ethan which in retrospect I should have done first and of course he agreed.  

We met in the chapel and Pete said a quick word then the fellas played a song.  Pastor Bobby got up and gave a message. A little long and pretty dry compared to what we were used to from Pastor Kelly and our experience that morning at Sagebrush.
It was also a little distracting because there were 3 good sized dogs wandering in and out of the service at their leisure.
After the service we were invited to have some stew with the indians (hope this doesn’t offend anyone but its easier than typing Native Americans so buckle in for that word a lot).
Matt described the stew best as Potato Water. It had the flavor of boiled water with potato hunks.  It did have some meat in it. Still on the bone and Matt got the “prize” by that I mean to say his meat bone still had a thatch of hair on it.

Pete told me when we arrived during my quick tour that we couldn’t drink or cook with the water. It was filled with sulfur and possible uranium from a mine that the government had not properly shut down.
Well our very own Cody had an allergic reaction in the past to sulfur and he was having trouble breathing. Our room was right next to the mens room and the place just radiated sulfur. Ethan, Brandon and myself took him to town so we could call his mom and of course Kelly.  After talking to Lynn we decided to give him over night. He had only had one allergic reaction and it was the consensus that the scare of the last time along with the elevation difference was causing his problem.
Cody was fine the rest of trip.

Finally got some sleep. turns out everyone in the boys bunk room snores. I perhaps was the worst but they all snored. Ely did a snore mumble thing that was interesting and several of the other teens talked in their sleep.

We were told by Pete to not go outside after dark and the school locked down so it was safe. Wasn't that there was any real threats but the Indians are not the soberest bunch as a whole around there and Pete said that sometimes people would come there at night trying to get help with food or work and it was best just to ignore them. that never happened by the way.

Other than snoring every night was peaceful.

Monday, June 23, 2014

New Mexico Day 1

Day 1 

We gathered to leave at the church at 6:30. 
Kelly and I had rented the vans the day before and I had parked one at my house so I could actually drive to church seeing as I had left my truck at Kelly's sisters house for the week. 

Everyone showed up pretty much on time and a few extra people showed up just to see us off. 

Ethan ran a little late because he was packing tools but everyone was there by 7-ish and Kelly said a word of prayer. 

We settled in our vehicles for the drive to Albuquerque. 
Around an hour and a half into the trip we stopped at a McDonalds because Emily Coday had to use the bathroom. This is a trend that started early and happened frequently.
So we pulled in and on our way to the building Ethan asked if I had the prepaid "debit cards" that we had decided to get for the trip rather than cash.

This was a surprise to me because I thought he had gotten them. I had been texting him about them for a couple weeks since Kelly had given us the idea to use them.
He however thought my texts were me updating him on the progress not reminding him to get them.  So neither of us had gotten them.
Well we were both mortified that we had screwed that up and here we were an hour and a half away from town with 15 other people and no money.
We called Pastor Kelly who made some calls and in about another hour and a half to 2 hours he and Nathan arrived to rescue us.
While we were there though the kids and a few leaders took it upon themselves to LoveBomb some random folks. Emily C and Ryleigh walked thru the drive thru to LoveBomb a car behind them. I don't think the drive appreciated it until after they had gone because they said he shot them the stink eye while he waited on them to move. I bet his tune changed after he realized his bill had been paid and he received the card.

We finished our 2 hour bathroom break and got back on the road. The rest of the drive was pretty standard.  Ethan and I were in the first van with half the kids. And Matt, Laura & Brandon were in the second. 
Laura had taken the time to make a very detailed drive map. Marking our scheduled stops and the length of each but thanks to the teeny bladders of a few of the teens and 1 leader we stopped a little more frequently than originally planned.
I'm reasonably sure this distressed Laura because she had worked so hard planning the stops. We were very thankful for her time and effort but we just couldn't stick to it the first half of the trip. It got better after that.  Brandon and I switched vans for a bit and I got to spend some time with the other half of our team. 

Halfway to ABQ Brandon and I switched vans so we could spend time with all the kids and because Ethan wanted to talk to Brandon about security stuff.
The vans were very opposite. Ethan's van was constantly active. Always talking or playing music.  Matt's van was loud for about an hour then dead quiet for another hour then ear split tingly loud again.
Lots of sleeping in that van. I have no idea how the teens could sleep that much but a few of them slept nearly the entire 18 hours it took us to finally arrive in ABQ. 

We stopped for lunch at Chic fill a and dinner at Whattaburger in Amarillo Tx. The most memorable part of that was certainly not the food. The Whattaburger was decent at best. The part that sticks out in my mind was Dakota and Miki. They both ordered the same thing. 2 huge burgers and fries. They proceeded to eat roughly 3 bites 

That and the fact that we LoveBomed another stranger. This time one of our people paid for his meal out of their own pocket. 

We finally arrived in ABQ and thanks to some road construction we ended up missing our drive and circling for another 20 minutes or so. We made it to the Howard Johnson Express around 1 and finally got to our rooms for some sleep.

Wasn’t a big deal that first night because we were hardly there long enough to enjoy the stay.

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Few Thoughts Before I Leave

It’s roughly 9 hours before we leave for a week to work in New Mexico on an Navajo reservation.  I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m already missing my family. I’m already missing my church. This will be the 3rd Sunday in a row that I’m not trying to teach in the Cave. 

I don’t know how much sleep I will get tonight. The adrenaline from the trip will probably keep me going tomorrow until we hit the Hotel in down town Albuquerque.  I’m looking forward to seeing my friends the Trujillo’s.  I’m looking forward to taking the teens to Sagebrush Community Church where Jeff and Kara attend now.  It’s a huge multi campus church and its going to be an experience for the teens.

It’s been a long road to tonight. From God giving me the vision of the trip. Thru the planning, the phone calls the reservations and the fundraisers but we take off tomorrow morning.  

The last year working with the teens under Ethan and Bethany has been amazing. We have a great team in those two and they have fostered a pretty great group of teens and of leaders.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t say thank you to those who made this possible. We wouldn’t be going if it wasn't for those who donated money, time and baked goods to the cause for us to have our first mission trip for the youth.
So thank you. I was raised in church my whole life. Thats 36 years of being involved and around Christians. I can honestly say that Lifepoint has been the only place I’ve ever been that feels like a family. The sense of community is beyond what I thought was possible with a body of believers.
I count myself as nothing without that body, and its for that reason that I thank you and my family thanks you.

That’s all for tonight i have packing to do. No biblical revelations tonight folks. God and I have been spending a lot of time recently talking to each other and I’m positive he has some great things in store for the team and teens this week.  He just hasn’t told me what they are yet.  
We are gonna take plenty of pictures and we will have a lot to share with you.

I love you Lifepointers and I’ll see you in a week.

Lin if you are reading this I think your the best thing in the world and I’ll be back soon.

at your service