The WRCC High School Team has arrived in the city of David, Panama. They had good flights and all of their luggage made it. We are thankful that they are now on location and ready to rest after a very long day of travel. They will begin their ministry in the morning at the Church. Please continue to pray for them.
Our High School Team is so excited about their ministry in Panama that they left 10 minutes early to head to the airport! They pulled out of the church parking lot this morning at 2:20 AM. They will arrive in Panama City early afternoon and then fly to the city of David near the border of Costa Rica. They have a lot of ministry activities planned but are open to how God will use them even in the quiet moments. Please pray for their health, safety, and to be open to the direction of the Holy Spirit in all of their interactions and their own personal reflections. ¡Que Dios les Bendiga!
The sun came out on Thursday and the team was able to get a lot done while enjoying a beautiful day. The dual set of stairs coming off the front deck has just a few finishing touches left. The back landing should be completed Friday if the rain holds off. The team has enjoyed the beautiful scenery God has blessed us with in the Appalachia mountains. They have seen a lot of oppression in the community; however, their spirits continue to be on fire for God.
The team had a free day on Wednesday. First they visited a senior center where they spent time with some local ladies. These ladies gather 3 days a week for a few hours which is their only socialization. The team also had the privilege to visit with Carrie, a homeowner, who they helped on a previous trip in 2012.
Next the team headed off to Pineville State Park, where they enjoyed lunch and a hike back to a beautiful waterfall. They are looking forward to getting back to work on Thursday!
On day 2 the ladies woke to the sound of rain but that didn't dampen their spirits. They put up 2 tents and began sawing. By noon, the sun came out and was shining while they worked on their project. The homeowner, Tara, shared with the team that on Monday evening they felt so blessed that a team cam out to build this for her. They found themselves coming out onto the deck frequently throughout the evening. This has in turn blessed the team by seeing Tara's happiness. They left the job site Tuesday evening feeling empowered as a 12ft deck is near completion. On Wednesday, the team will enjoy a free day checking out the sites of southeastern Kentucky. The ladies have had a great time with each other as well as getting to know volunteers from other states.
First day at work camp went very well. The day's project was to build a small deck and all of the ladies earned their PHD's (post hole diggers) in very ROCKY soil. They are building the deck for a mother with one 13 year old son. The deck was laid on Monday and on Tuesday morning they added the spindles and worked on the steps in the afternoon. Everyone is enjoying learning a new set of skills.
The team made it safely to Red Bird late afternoon, enjoyed dinner, and headed off to orientation.
A big, big, thank you to Jena and Peggy who drove their van full of donated items to the mission for their Community Store only to turn around and drive back home. Wow! And, a big thanks to all of those who donated the much needed items as they were in desperate need.
Please be in prayer for the people impacted by the major earthquake in Ecuador. Hundreds of people have lost their lives and many others have been injured. Pray that God would bring comfort, peace and most of all HIS Hope through Christ Jesus. Pray for the rescue workers and those who will be ministering to the needs of so many.
If you feel led to help, we suggest making donations to Samaritan's Purse. This is a Christian mission that WRCC has partnered with many times and we have confidence in their integrity and ministry. http://www.samaritanspurse.org/donation-items/ecuador-earthquake-relief/
Following a long, but overall uneventful drive from Noblesville to New Orleans for the 2016 version of the White River Christian Church NOLA Mission trip, there were many relationships to celebrate. For many of the 20+ members of the group the relationships among one another were new, but the highlight of the first two days was the renewal of the friendships both at The Bridge Church in Jackson MS and at Camp Hope with the folks from The Gathering and Crossroads.
Celebrating Easter Sunday at The Gathering was tremendous. For those returning to The Bridge it seemed like old home week, but for those new, there was a sense of connection they couldn't quite put their fingers on. One person new to the trip was floored by the bond he sensed with this church a few hundred miles away from home.
"There is something about that church and about Pastor Jamane," Dennis Reddick said. "The people there make you feel at home. I can see the connection between that church and ours."
During his message, Pastor Jamane Williams spoke about the renewal we as Christians have the opportunity to experience, referring to Christ dying and being resurrected. His talk highlighted how we don't live with the stone still in place, but living beyond the stone, meaning our story doesn't stop with the crucifixion on Christ, but with the new life brought on when the stone was rolled away and He arose.
Arrival to New Orleans brought a lot of gawking out of vehicle windows at all of the water and scenery unique to this region passing by. Once the group hit Camp Hope, there was again a sense of being "home" for those returning and those new feeling something special about the volunteer base camp.
After unloading the vans and dropping off the luggage, it was time to gather for orientation and prepare for the week. After orientation, it was dinner at a local diner, followed by an evening filled with some card playing, a little table tennis, and a lot of team bonding.
Day one in the field saw us split into three groups and take on a variety of projects in three different parishes. One of the teams rebuilt the backstop of a baseball/softball diamond in a local park, with a second team working on flooring in a home, and third striving toward the completion of some demolition work started by groups who were here previously.
"It was really cool that we were able to build this backstop for the field," Grace Briso said. "For the first time since Hurricane Katrina, there are kids in that neighborhood who will be able to play baseball or softball on a diamond with a new backstop. That's pretty cool to think about and is very rewarding."
With a variety of projects and interactions with many folks, both local to the area and other volunteers, many opportunities await this crew to live beyond the stone.