Okay, wow, it's been a loooooong time since I posted. The last month or so has been a blur. I finished school, completed my internship and graduated (yay me), went on mission trip, went on a cruise (more about that in a separate post) and now I'm unemployed until I get my temporary license from the good ole State of Texas, yet I still seem to be finding more things to do than I have time for. How the heck did I ever do all this stuff while I worked full time? I have a large list of errands, tasks, etc. to do, and I've already done a bunch of them this week so far!
So, on to mission trip. So glad I decided to go, God blessed as He always is faithful to do. We had a safe trip down, though I drove my car alone since everyone wanted to be in the vans where the fun was (don't blame them). But it was okay. When we arrived in Galveston, our rooms weren't ready as it seems there was a miscommunication and the night manager (it was about 10:30pm or so) had no idea we were coming, but thought we'd arrive on Monday night instead. So several vehicles idled in the Wal-Mart parking lot next to our condos while Josh and Christi gently strong-armed them into getting our rooms ready, etc. Somewhere shortly before midnight we got our rooms, but with the understanding that some of us might have to move the next night. We were supposed to all be in the same building, but the first night we just had to take what was available. Some of the rooms didn't have enough beds for the people assigned to them, so we had to do a little shifting, but all in all, by the second evening, everyone was settled in and mostly happy. The condos were quite nice, though small, and across the street from the beach. Now if you've never been to Galveston, let me just say that it is not the most attractive beach in the world, but it is a beach, so many of our kids were quite excited. It was very humid, of course. A couple of times I walked out of our condo onto the balcony and my glasses fogged up! We had wonderful A/C and kept our unit quite frosty all week, which felt great when coming in from the heat. The pool was very nice, but kind of like bathwater, not too refreshing but at least it was wet.
Early on in the week, lots of the kids seemed a little uncomfortable that here we were on a mission trip and we were staying in a really nice condo at the beach, not suffering in a crowded gym like we did in Mexico. Seems lots of them felt guilty for having such luxury, and were a little unsure that the people in Galveston could be as needy as the ones in Mexico. Fortunately, as the week went on they soon began to see that there are hurting, poor and lost people everywhere you go, people who need to see and feel God's love through the touch and hugs and ministry of others. I won't go into great details, but we did VBS sites, worked at a homeless shelter, and did some ministry at Josh's dad's church as well. My group had to improvise some as our planned VBS at a neighborhood park got no response, so we took bottled water and salvation bracelets to the Seawall and set up tables and gave them out free, and talked to people when given the opportunity. The kids did all the work, and they were AMAZING! I am waaaay out of my comfort zone talking to strangers on the street, but they just went up to everyone with such enthusiasm, and people were generally very appreciative, though many of them were suspicous of why we would give a way free water, what was the catch, some even tried to give us money which we declined. Then the last two days we went to the Shriner's Children's Hospital burn unit and visited and played with some of the kids there. They were all from Mexico and had varying degrees of burn injuries, some quite serious, and none spoke English so our young Spanish speakers (and Bushy) got the chance after all to use their skills. That hospital is incredible and they cover all costs for medical care for the kids and for housing their families while they are being treated. Burns are a horrible thing, but these kids seemed just like any others, having adapted to their injuries including lost fingers, limbs, hair, etc.
All in all, it was a great trip, and Josh proved to be a great leader and able to quickly deal with whatever circumstances arose without losing his cool. He and Christi are a great team and this week really forged some bonds between them and the kids. And he didn't mind when we made fun of him for his walkie talkie lingo . . . "Attention all van drivers, attention all van drivers. This is Josh. We will be taking exit 5-7-1, that's 5-7-1, in approximately 3.2 miles. " and so on. Hilarious, but it worked. No one got lost or separated, etc.
Of course there were many inside jokes, Poooooop Deeeeeck being the main one. There was a restaurant we passed every day called the Poop Deck. And for my room and some others, there was Kappa Kappa Chino, the first Chinese sorority (love you Cami!). And many more. Much fun was had. God is good, all the time! I don't know what I'll do when I'm too old to go on youth trips . . .