I've been kinda under a cloud lately and just didn't have the energy to sit and do this, but here I am! I actually journaled during the trip so I wouldn't forget some things:
* It took us 13 hours to get 60 people to New Orleans. Didn't make too many stops, I guess the big bus could only go so fast...
* The job we went there to do was a house. The lady who owned it bought it after Katrina to fix it up and rent it out, it was divided into 3 apts. Well, she and her dad (co-owner) hired a contractor to fix it up, only to have them take off with their money. Then, her dad died last year and she was left all alone. We were the first group of people to show up and help her.
* On Wednesday, after some of our adults spent time talking with her, she accepted the Lord as her Savior. Fred said in our SS class "if it took our church to send 60 people all the way to New Orleans, sweat pounds off for 5 days and be almost too sore to move every night just to have her come to know the Lord, then it was worth it".
* My job was to help with the food. We cooked breakfast and dinner for ourselves and brought lunch to the work site. The good thing about this job, we had time after lunch to do whatever we wanted, so we went out to lunch after driving through the 9th ward one day. :)
* I planned on spending maybe one day at the work site, but there was NO WAY I could have made it. The work was very hard and the heat was unbearable! Tons of credit to the ones who worked it!
* The place we stayed in was like a "mission" church. Homeless people can come there and get whatever they need:clothes, food, assistance. We were told to always keep the front doors locked so they wouldn't come in while we were there. Met some interesting people...
* A bunch of the crew went to Cafe Dumont on Tuesday night. I skipped out and crashed in bed. Too bad, cuz they got to see the family from "Little people, big world". I guess they were filming.
* Our stove started smoking on Wed. morning. So, no eggs & bacon. We had bagels instead... the good news was the problem was a $25 cord. Had spaguetti for dinner!
* On the way to Wed. night worship at another church, we are crossing an intersection and a guy on a motorcycle decides to run his red light and crosses right in front of us. We slammed on the breaks, and he thanks us by giving us a one finger salute! agh!
* Our only CDL bus driver hurt his back at the work site. We had to take him to the ER, where he spent the whole day and part of Thur. He was finally admitted, only to be told (on Fri.) he may need surgery on his back. He's had surgery on his back before. He was going to have to wait until Monday for a shot in his back to allow him to fly home. We called the church and a new driver was flown to us on Friday night.
* The praise band got permission to play in Jackson Square, and after watching them, we had some time on Thursday to go out to dinner. The Gumbo Shop, it was pretty good.
* The kids, for the most part, behaved great. There was some drama with some girls, the middle school boys were obnoxiously loud, but for having that many people in a very small area, it went well. The place we stayed at comfortably holds 40 people. There were 60 of us... 1 shower for every 10 people. We had a few plumbing problems, but we survived.
* I really enjoyed getting to know more folks from church. They were all very nice. And my hope was that Andy would connect more with the youth group. I guess it worked, the night before we left, he asked "when is youth camp?" The timing stunk, since we now didn't have the funds to send him. (I begged him back in Jan. to sign up, but nooo!) So I told him he had to speak with the youth pastor and see if he could work something out. It came back we only had to come up with $100, so we made Andy pay half. He is now in Tenn. at youth camp...
* I would sign up to go again in a heart beat. Even though there was little sleep, my hands and feet were completely swollen from the heat & humidity, and my poor husband hurt from every inch of his body. It was worth it.