Monthly Archives: June 2012

Week 3

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What a whirlwind of a week.

Sunday we had another awesome sermon about suffering and had a chance to reflect on the fathers and fatherly figures in our lives. The church i attend this summer is small, diverse, and God is moving in big ways in the life of the congregation. 

Monday my phone was stolen by someone, possibly a parent but maybe just a person who wandered into the church. It was my own fault for leaving it unattended while I trained the volunteers. I was in high hopes that maybe one of the kids had just grabbed it, but I rest confident that is not in the homes of one of my kid’s because I was making pretty good prizes for anyone who found it. Anyways, the new one came yesterday and should be activated by this afternoon.

Tuesday I was able to borrow one of my interns phones to make any and all calls. The kids and programming planned by the interns were both great, therefore I got tons of work done. I planned 2 field trips! We will be going to The Tennessee State Museum ( I’m going today to check it out, I’m kinda realllly excited!) and then we will also be going to The Frist Museum. I know most kids aren’t really into the whole museum thing, but the total cost of both field trips is $0.00 so they’ll have to appreciate what they are given. 

Wednesday flew by, but our evening meeting in preparation for week 4 (which means we are one week from being half way done with this new experience! so sad) was tons of fun. My team is really coming together, cracking jokes, and, for the most part, enjoying each other. 

And then there was yesterday, Thursday! Our first FAMILY FUN NIGHT! Family fun night is when we invite the kids and their families to all come to the church and share a meal with the interns, church members, and volunteers. WE had over 125 people in attendance and it was adorable to see our kids interact with all of their families. They were so proud of where they came from and really wanted to show their families off. Especially baby brothers and sisters. The interns and I got to see a new perspective of their life. Some of our kids really are their own parents and others have great parents who are just trying to make it with what they’ve been given. It’s a really diverse group.

Also this week we found out as a team that we won’t be able to do home visits which is where the team goes to the kids home and visits in a team on one family basis. When we told volunteers and church members about these ‘home visits’ we would be going on, their faces became blank. Many told me that I should reconsider. After talking to both of my bosses and them looking to trusting advice givers, the conclusion was made that it would  be much too dangerous for us to visit their homes. I found out that I’m serving in the most dangerous part of Nashville where there are anywhere between 3-12 gangs represented and gang violence is higher during the summer months. It’s also late afternoon when some of the people who hang out in the projects are either sobering up from last nights intoxication or just beginning that day’s drinking bonanza. There was also fear that we would end up in a situation and have no way out, such as finding drugs in the home or other illegal material and be mandated to report it, which could hurt the relationship that we are trying to build with our families. So when the decision was made to support our relationship with the families and church we decided it might be best to meet with our families upon arriving and bringing their kids to site in the morning and picking them up in the afternoons. Luckily, I’ve also been able to call a ton of our parents and build a relationship with them over the phone.

After this week, it’s obvious that our whole team is falling in love with  our kids and this summer is just starting to get good. 

 

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Aside

So I might be the worst blogger ever. Here is jist of what has happened the last two weeks.

The first week with the kids was awesome. Our theme that was week was “to infinity and beyond. Buzz Lightyear, one of my interns, came to our site and told the kids all about his time in outer space and his star command journey. They were so intrigued! Here is a picture of Buzz himself. My site pastor Rev. Pet and house pastor, Sam decided they needed a picture with this Pixar superstar.

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This last week we had empowerment week. Monday was unplanned and went really rough. Thankfully the week only went up from there. Thursday we had a talent show and it was so good! One of our 1st grade girls wore her tap shoes and did a dance for us. There were so proud to have the attention of all the other kids and especially the interns. Sam came for a visit that day, so they enjoyed having a “special guest” watch them too! We had a few of the boys break dance, a talent I never appreciated until I saw my own 3rd-5th grade boys doing it!

Also, another special moment from the past few weeks. I’ve began to love the older boys in the program. One day at recess I was invited to play football with them. Growing up without boys I didn’t have much experience with a football in my hands, but it was so much fun!

Another little boy is an attention-seeking child. He runs the show most days and it has been a real challenge for the interns and I to have him where he’s suppose to be. He is constantly in my office for one reason or another and we get to have a talk about why he can’t behave. All that is easy, and then every time I send him back to his class, he hugs me! It’s hard to discipline a child who hugs!

We have some special prayer request from our sites, no details, I just ask that you pray for the 58 kids on the rooster. Serving in the most dangerous part of Nashville was easy at the beginning, then I realized I was sending my kids home to that. Trusting God is the only thing I can do.

As far as site is concerned, things are great and God has continued to bless each of us.

As far as community living on Belmont is concerned, we are still learning to love each other. When that happens, it’ll be much easier to love the kids. We are growing together though, it’s just going to take some time. Five of us went to the Nashville Rescue Mission (a men’s shelter) to volunteer at their coffee house. After leaving around 7:45, we decided it was time for some dinner. We traveled around East Nashville trying to find a southern style restaurant. Our attempts fell and in the middle of the pouring rain we decided to come back to Belmont and settle for something closer to campus. Chipotle it was! Luckily, I wasn’t with any of the interns who I had really gotten to know except Victoria from Truman and Katie from my first summer in Dallas. The floor was open so I made the five of us discuss questions like where we had come from and what kind of stuff we were passionate about. The conversation came back to Belmont with us when we all sat around a round table in the devotion room. At the end of the night, 7 others had joined us! It was great to see each of us actually learning about each other and why we act and think they way we do.

Sorry this post is kind of here kind of there. Maybe I’ll blog more regularly and they can flow a little better! Maybe…

Lastly, I want to share this picture that I found on my way to get lunch one day:

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Catching up on the last two weeks