6.25.2010

Oregon 2010-Day One and Two




Once again, Larry and I have been super blessed to be sponsors for a Jr/Sr Hillcrest Mission Trip. This trip was especially special because the Juniors of this trip are also our Huddle Kids. We have build a relationship with this group over the past two years being their Huddle Leaders, so to go on a trip with some of them and serve along beside them was so fun! Our trips main purpose was to go encourage and build up the youth group at Tri-City Church of Christ in Tri-City, Oregon, about 4 hours south of Portland. The youth group there is very small and their youth minister desired them to see how a strong vivacious youth group works and plays. So here is how the week went...
On Saturday, June 12th we left the church parking lot at 4 AM. We drove to DFW airport, checked in, grabbed some breakfast, ate and boarded our plane...destination...Portland, Oregon. The flight went well, except for some turbulence but we arrived safe and sound. We got our bags and ate lunch in the airport as we were waiting for one of our group to land on another flight (Karsten had gone to Camp Blue Haven and joined us on another flight 1 hour after we arrived). Kory and Mandi (the youth minister and his girlfriend) picked us up in the church vans and we started the drive to Tri-City. They stopped at a Super Wal-Mart and let Kathi (Kathi and Odis Wright, the other sponsors) and I out so that the two of us could buy groceries for the week for all of us! Whew. Let me just say that I have never ever bought that many groceries at one time in my life. Nor do I care to again! Ha. We had 8 grocery baskets full! We made quite the scene at the store! :) Gloria, a beautiful Christian woman from the Tri-City Church met us there to drive us to the church building once we were finished with our shopping. I am pretty sure we shocked Gloria right off the bat with the sheer amount of things we were buying. But after reminding her this was for one week for 25 people...20 of those being teenagers she quickly dove right in helping us gather stuff and pushing loaded carts around. Right then, I fell in love with my new sister, Gloria. We had so much fun all week! She is dear to my heart and I pray I can continue to build on our long distance friendship! We arrived at the church a couple of hours later and joined the rest of our group for dinner with our host families. It was fun to start meeting our new friends and at the same time enjoying the wonderful weather and beautiful views of Oregon. The drive from Portland to Tri-City was AMAZING!! I have never seen so many green things growing in my whole life. Things I struggle to keep alive in a pot in Abilene such as Boston Ferns, growing wild in the bar ditches here! It is lush and I immediately fell in love with this state!! After a very nice dinner, we all went home with our host families. I am always amazed at how God works. Here is a perfect example. We were matched with a couple, Steve and Belinda. Steve is an elder at Tri-City and has worked his whole life in construction based companies. Belinda owns a gift shop and when I saw it...I LOVED IT!!! She had lots of things in her house, that either I had in my house...or had admired in gift shops before. When we arrived at their house, which was lovely and had an amazing yard...we sat down in their living room and we both felt as if we had sat down with old friends...we talked for HOURS and the conversation was easy and relaxed and we continued to find things we had in common. Larry and I both felt so comfortable and "at home" with them. We both commented that if they lived in Abilene or us there...we would be best friends! The next morning we ALL woke up extremely early (us because we were still on Texas time!) so we sat and drank coffee in our fat pants and talked for 2 solid hours before getting ready for church. We ate a yummy breakfast then headed to church. We went to the High School class and then had a wonderful service done by Odis as the song leader and our young men did all the scripture reading and prayers, etc. Evan and Kory team taught the lessons. The singing was so great...so alive and exciting! After services, the church treated us to a delicious potluck and lots of fun visiting. We quickly changed our clothes and started our first service project, digging a very LARGE hole for a sand volleyball court on the back of the church property. I cannot even describe how much dirt we dug out. It was the first of many days that our kids simply amazed me. Their attitude and work ethic is incredible. They worked from 1 to 6, never complaining! Kathi and I were busy working in the kitchen, taking breaks to go dig for a bit, carrying water and snacks back and forth to the workers, etc. The day flew by with all the work. We stopped at 6 just as pizza was being delivered. We ate, then drove to a beautiful river and had our devotional while enjoying the gorgeous view. What a perfect ending to a busy day. We made a quick trip over to Steve and Belinda's for a quick shower. They graciously gave us the keys to their pick-up and the keys to their house. I cannot describe what a blessing this was...since the church had one shower for 25 people! We returned to the church and fell into our air mattress! We are exhausted but have already met some wonderful people and seen some breathtaking scenery! Love it here!! Oh yeah...the high today was 70! Yahoo! My kind of weather!!!

2 comments:

The Watsons said...

I love it! And I think I am going to love hearing you retell the stories from Oregon. It's so neat to hear people talk about where I grew up, because they see so many things (and appreciate!) that I either have forgotten about, or just don't think to be special. Like the scenery. Yes, the beauty of the Pac NW is something to be seen, for sure, but I promise you, I still love Texas more! Ha! So thankful to be here! :) After all, I've met so many great people, like the Knights! ;)

Ashley said...

It's been so fun to hear all about your trip. I know those kids love you guys & were so blessed to have you there with them!!