The 5-story slide

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!


Don’t forget the sprinkles

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~

Operation Brightside Makes a Splash

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

Mission Stay 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

You will have mandatory fun

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

It builds character

Today was our last day serving with YouthWorks and the 4B Disaster Response Network in Dickinson, TX.

The Lit Longhorns and Sweet Shetland Ponies (our teams) continued their dry wall and insulation work at Mark’s house and Liz’s.

Peter, Lambert, Billy, Bridget, and Rachel took on the challenge of dry walling the ceiling, and they crushed it!

Joe, Nell, Zach, Bailey, Juliana, and Maria worked steadily at Mark’s house to dry wall the center room and finish off the insulation work. Mark was super grateful, and it was a pleasure to hear his story.

After our work day, some of us went to a Buddhist Temple!

The rest of us got DQ blizzards and they were D-licious.

The Sweet Shetland ponies prepared dinner for everybody! We got to chill out and hang out at a community cookout.

Tomorrow we hit the road to leave the service portion of our trip, which has been an eye-opening and fun experience. Can’t wait to go to the Water Park and eat seafood in Galveston!

Yours truly,

Mission Team 2018

Country Roads, Take Me Home

On our third day of service, half of us stayed at Mark’s house. We finished the insulation and continued the dry wall work! Mark brought us blue Gatorade and doughnuts, for which we were extraordinarily grateful.

Half of us went to a new site, the house of a woman and her son, to do insulation and dry wall. Her dog was so cute and kept escaping the house to come have lunch with us!

At night we attended a service at Clear Creek Community Church. The pastor gave an excellent sermon about God’s immense love for us, and how we can experience that in nature.

On the way home, it was discovered we didn’t have Bluetooth, an amenity Maria forewent in purchasing the rental cars. Zach pulled us over to a Walgreens to get an aux cord…for the express purpose of singing to John Denver’s “Country Roads” at the top of our lungs.

Looking forward to another day of service!


Mission Team 2018

Dry Wall Crews!

Today we returned to Mark’s house. So far we have completed dry wall for five rooms! During our breaks we had blizzards at Dairy Queen– a well-earned treat! At the end of our work day some of us didn’t want to leave!

Later we drove to Galveston for our evening activity. Joe dominated a game of emoji charades. This was not long after he told us a story of a time when he was looking for his phone, only to take a break to answer a Snapchat. Wait a minute…

On the beach we enjoyed being together near the waves and the giant Pleasure Pier theme park. We reflected on how when we work together, we can get way more done than we could have imagined doing on our own. Just yesterday there was no dry wall or insulation on Mark’s house, but today we left knowing we’d finished five rooms. God blesses the fruits of our labor when we work together!

And who doesn’t need to stock up on strawberry kiwi Gatorade when you work this hard?

Looking forward to returning to our work,

Mission Team 2018

Day 1 at our service site!

After a yummy breakfast we divided into our two service teams : the Lit Longhorns and the Sweet Shetland Ponies. We headed over to the 4B Disaster Response Network Warehouse (run out of an old Kroger hit by the storm) to learn how to put up dry wall.

Loading up the trailer with insulation and dry wall was a team effort!

…so was unloading!

We dove into our work at Mark’s residence. Mark is a homeowner whose house was greatly damaged by the hurricane. He shared his story with us. We were so grateful to hear from him. He gave us water and was very accepting of our help. We saw God’s grace through Mark!

Prepping for the dry wall by scraping the ceiling boards!

Taking measurements in order to cut the right size and shape of dry wall! Putting our newly acquired skillz to use.

Teamwork really does make the dream work. Drilling in screws to the dry wall!

It was a rewarding day; everybody put their best effort forward!

Back at the church, Evan and Joe polished their impeccable ping-ping skills. At night we tossed the football and frolicked in a nearby park.

After sharing where we saw God’s grace, and reading Compline together, we hit the sack to renew for another full day of service!

Hasta la vista,

Mission Team 2018

A day at the liquid zoo

At 6:30AM we got out of bed because we couldn’t wait for the day to begin! We divided into two teams: clean up crew and breakfast prep. We built our character, one air mattress deflating and sausage patty baking at a time.

After worship at Moody Methodist, we went to Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid!

We pet jelly fish and stingrays!

And spent some quality time together!

After a nice long lunch and some down time at the church, we hopped in our cars to travel 30 minutes northeast to Dickinson, TX, a town that was devastated by Hurricane Harvey last fall.

Tonight at our YouthWorks site, we met youth and adult leaders from churches in Kansas and California! Those of us who weren’t on breakfast crew this morning got to help clean up after dinner–we built our character, once again.

We are so excited to begin our work helping homeowners rebuild. Off to catch some ZzZz’s!

Much love from a small Texan town,

Mission Team 2018