Today is our last whole day here at youth-works and this stay has been quite a memorable one. This morning after breakfast, we were the clean-up crew and listened to music by Taylor Swift. After that we went to park and put tubing around trees to protect them. Then we headed next door to a dinner at which we had eaten at a few days earlier, but this time I had a patty melt instead of a burger, but it was still just as good. Following lunch, we headed to the local boys and girls club where we did many things like put up an awning, inflate balls, and play with the kids in general. But as we left our site for the last time, we all felt we had made a difference big or small in everyone’s lives that we met. Finally, there was a big cookout we went to with all the other church groups. That was really fun because we really got to talk to everyone over dinner in a new environment. That’s all for now because the group and I have to wake up really early tomorrow morning.
The day started pretty much like everyday other did, with me getting up 20 minutes before the rest of the guys. Everything was like every other day until I went to check on my air mattress in the new BED ROOM and found it deflated. Then came my God moment of the day when Fr. Joseph pulled a fast one on all of us by insinuated we were in trouble by saying he was hearing things, but then telling us that we were being friendly and hospitable to the people at the site and at the Boys and Girls Club. Which made me feel good because I didn’t feel like I was doing anything but as Joseph said, “That is the Point.”
We then left for Flinn Springs Park where we looked at snakes and animal skins and learned about conservation of God’s Creation. We ate lunch at a required distance from each other. A little later we left for the Boys and Girls Club. But we stopped at Dairy Queen first.
When we got to the Club I did my regular clean up routine with Jerry while Mateo and Joe played flag football with the kids and the others did something else. Then there was some “clapping activity” and after that we left.
We arrived at the shower place and showered first because we had to make dinner.
While making dinner, Tyler tried to play God’s Plan for like the 10th time. After that, we ate spaghetti and stuff.
Following dinner, we left for mass on the rocky beach where I witnessed my second God moment, where 7 birds flew over us at the end of communion. Then we all ruined each other’s panoramic shots. Overall, it was great but I was scared because I thought I was gonna fall into the ocean and die.
We later arrived at the Balboa Park where we had an experience in a labyrinth. Then, we walked through a rose garden labyrinth and talked about what we saw in the community. Kevin was also immortalized in youth trip lore. Now we’re about to head back to the sight.
I saw God today when we were all together at breakfast and we were all laughing and enjoying each other’s company. We came across a dead snake today. I also saw God in one of my new friends that came up to me even though she doesn’t really talk to people. I also saw God when there was a chance for me to leave St. Louis and go to San Diego. For the first time being a airplane, I thought that was a ticket from God saying you deserve this. Also we met a woman who was about 90 years old who was in world war II. It turns out she was one of the original Rosie The Riveter!!! Today we did a really good job at painting and I started to think that God was in everything for the first time! In the trees,
in the paint, in the bush, and in me! We aren’t God, but God is most definitely is in us.
At the beginning of today I could not have imagined all the things we accomplished. We started off by painting parts of the curb at a park. It needed to be red to signify where the fire engines would park in case of a forest fire. We talked to a ranger and he informed us about the forest fires; they would sometimes burn right on the cliff above the park. Although forest fires are natural, I saw God in the fact that we were helping people protect God’s Earth.
Next we went to a boys and girls club where we helped the kids with geography, and played kickball with them. It was a nice change of speed from the earlier manual labor. I had a lot of fun with the kids.
Lastly we went on a hike along the border. This was one of the more controversial activities of our day. We interacted with both border agents and staff members of Border Angels. It was interesting to hear both viewpoints. As Christians we must balance the values of treating thy neighbor as thy self and keeping our community safe. It’s important for us to have dialogue instead of people just voicing strong opinions without listening to the other side.
If I could describe today in one word it would be tired. I woke up tired, I got on the plane tired, I got off the plane tired,I watched billy build a fort in the back of the car tired, I ate my pizza for breakfast tired, I went to the aquarium tired, I went to lunch tired, I went to the beach tired, I ran on the rocks tired and I got to the church tired. I’m writing this reflection tired. But I got through it. I pushed through the day and things turned out ok in the end. God really shines for me right when I got out of the car at 4:30 to a bunch of people that I haven’t seen in a year and somehow I felt right at home. St Peters has a great dynamic of people you just never see in a bunch of teenagers and I have God to thank for making me a part of it.
Today we visited the Haven of Grace, a shelter for women and their children. It was founded in 1988 by St. Peter’s Episcopal Church!
First we cleaned the playground
Then we organized the incentives closet, where women can shop for baby clothes, toiletries, and more!
It was great to learn about the Haven and see how our parish has supported it through the years!
We headed over to Crown Candy for some delicious lunch and milkshakes.
dancing in Old North Neighborhood
And then we went to City Museum!!
We had such a fun time climbing up wiry tunnels and sliding down a 5-story slide!
Mission Stay 2018 ended with a BANG! (That’s NOT the sound of Maria’s head hitting a unforeseen pole while crawling on all fours..)
We had an amazing time doing God’s work in St. Louis! As we read during our morning prayer, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” (Matt. 9:37) We sure did harvest (actually though… remember the turnips?) … and we will seek to continue God’s work in our daily lives!
Today we baked cookies at Sunshine Ministries!
Will, Sawyer, and Roberta were on team chocolate chip
While Adam and Eli rep’d for team double chocolate chunk.
Ta-da! The Sunshine Ministries men will love munching on these at lunch.
We then decorated cookies with Sunshine Ministries preschoolers
And we joined the playground fun, too!
We made new friends!
Everyone had such a good time! From strangers to friends in a little under an hour!
At lunchtime we picnicked at Forest Park, then braved the zoological heat (we attest, the zoo is hotter than any place in STL!) to pet sting rays.
And finished up the day with some delicious ICEEs in the shade.
~Mission Team 2018~
This morning we helped pick up trash with Ms. Lewis, a parishioner at All Saints-Ascension Episcopal Church. Ms. Lewis is the block captain of Operation Brightside, an organization dedicated to beautifying the city.
It started raining buckets right when we finished! God was watching over us and our service project.
We picnicked at the World’s Fair Pavilion! Turns out, it was built after the World’s Fair because the World’s Fair Commission wanted to sell concessions there. Exploring history–right in our own backyard!
We had a super fun afternoon at Rev. Luke’s pool, which had a deep end!!
An epic game of “silence” ensued…
As well as a hilarious round of “movies”
We looked back on the day together and thanked God for the opportunity to serve and to splash.
Looking forward to making cookies at Sunshine Ministries tomorrow!
For BBQ and sour cream & cheddar chips,
Mission Team 2018
Tuesday, June 19 marks the start of Mission Stay 2018! We are four fabulous youth and two dedicated adults, all committed to bettering our community and having fun while we do it!
This morning we weeded and harvested turnips at Pagedale Community Garden.
Ms. Faye and Ms. Cora were very grateful for our hard work, and we were grateful to accomplish a rewarding task!
One too many turnip puns later, we downed some root beer floats at Fitz’s on the Loop. Will introduced us to chocolate root beer floats! We also created our Community Norms, our expectations for how to treat one another during the week. Courtesy of Sawyer, Norm #1: Don’t spill milkshakes on yourself. Also, No RMS.
The afternoon took us to Chesterfield Sports Fusion, where we played laser tag
Climbed a rock wall
And crushed it at mini golf!
Tomorrow we look forward to picking up trash with Operation Bright Side!
Tune in tomorrow,
Maria, Roberta, Sawyer, Will, Adam, and Eli
Yesterday morning we said goodbye to the amazing YouthWorks staff!
We had a delicious breakfast at First Watch.
In the afternoon we visited Schlitterbahn Water Park in Galveston, TX! We were a bit hesitant at first, but Zach’s military order to have mandatory fun ensured we had a blast. The Lazy River was a favorite, not to mention the giant water slides.
In the evening we returned to the Galveston oceanfront for a delicious meal at Blvd Seafood.
At night we strolled the Historic Strand District. LaKing’s confectionary offered delicious sweets!
On Saturday morning we began our trip back to St. Louis.
At baggage claim our parents were excitedly waiting for us, ready to welcome us home after a fun-filled week of service and spiritual growth!
Go and do likewise,
Mission Team 2018