New Orleans Mission Team

New Orleans Mission Team

Saturday, June 16, 2012

This past week!

Hello everyone! Well...this week has been absolutely fantastic! At least it has been for me :). All week long I was working with the VBS group and it was a truly amazing experience. Those kids probably taught me more than I could have possibly taught them. And with Cerutti's permission (I have to ask real quick...) I'll tell you just one of the amazing stories........She said ok! Just one of the many friends that I made during this past week was a small eight year old girl named Stoney. She was one of the smartest kids that I've ever seen! Spitting out answers to our difficult Bible questions as if we had simply asked her for her favorite color. Besides being incredibly smart, she was also funny, kind, polite, and always striving to do her best. Well, it seemed like there would be no need to keep my guard up around this girl (unlike some of the trouble making boys in her group). Boy was I wrong. On our very last day with the VBS kids we taught them a lesson about how you can trust God no matter what (our theme for the week) using these small balls called Hoverballs. We placed one of these balls into a red solo cup and asked the kids if they thought the Hoverball could get out by itself. This question brought forth shouts of disbelief, which ended up being correct. By itself the Hoverball couldn't leave its red prison. Using this visual aid, we were able to tell the kids about how God can help them in difficult situations. The Hoverball represented the kids as individuals and the red cup was their problems or situations that they couldn't or can't get out of by themselves. By blowing into the cup, I was able to get the Hoverball safely out of its red prison. The kids went nuts! Most of them had a lightbulb moment and totally understood how God can help them even when no one else can. Well back to Stoney, after that display of God's love, the VBS team challenged the kids to show their family, friends, and anybody else their newfound (or renewed) trust in God's power in their lives. While the rest of the kids were exploring with their own personal Hoverball, little Stoney came up to me... "Miss Maddy?" "Yes?" "Can I show my dead kitty in Heaven the Hoverball trick? I want him to see how much I trust God to take care of him in Heaven." Well, I just about lost it right then and there. This little girl showed me just how much of an impact we make on their lives, even though we'd only been with them for less than a week! Stoney is just one of the many kids that made a huge impact on my heart. Thank you all so much for your prayers and thoughts. This was a fantastic experience for all of us. Though I'm sad to leave so soon, I know that there is just as much to do in Aurora as there is in New Orleans. Thank you! --Maddy Wilkin

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thursday!!!

Today, we went to our job sites, whether it was painting the house, clearing lots, Green Light, or VBS, in the morning.  In the afternoon we did a prayer walk and passed out fliers for tomorrow's Picnic in the Park that we are putting on with the other group.  The prayer walk was cut a little short due to thunderstorm coming in.  We then spent time organizing ourselves so that packing tomorrow will be easy.  We went to dinner tonight at Mandina's.  We all tried several different dishes that we had not had before.  One thing we tried was turtle soup.  It was pretty good.  Before we went to dinner we went and saw the 9th Ward, which was the area that was hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina.  It was a little unnerving to see so many houses still deserted and vacant lots.  We did see the house that Brad Pitt designed and built in this area.  It has been a great week seeing God in so many places and in so many people.

Elizabeth Cerutti

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cleaning lots!!

In the community where TCC is located, there are a lot of vacant lots because of people who abandoned their houses when hurricane Katrina hit. One of the most effective things TCC does for its community is cleaning these lots. The upkeep of vacant lots makes for less crime and raises the value of the houses. A few people in our group were sent along with guides and some people from other churches to mow, weed whack, and trim down lots. The New Orleans weather wasn't fun sometimes, but sticking through it was part of the challenge. All the hard work really paid off when people showed their appreciation. It was interesting to get to speak with people in the community weither it was a brief or long amount of time. The whole project just goes to show how effective it is to work hard and get out of your comfort zone for Jesus. It's super refreshing! :) -Bekah

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Green Light Crew

Yesterday was the first work day and there was all sorts of jobs to do. I was put in a group that went to an organization called Greenlight. Greenlight go's to peoples houses and then they change their old lights bulbs for more energy efficient ones. As we drove to the people's houses we got to know the people that went with us. It was fun to go to people's houses and hear there stories and to see how our living styles are the same. There were some houses that really stuck out to me one was with a little girl who was seven and she was brave enough to ask my name and before we left she told that she loved me. I was so amazed by this because this little girl who met me for like 10 minutes felt such feelings for someone she just met.It made my day!!!!!!! Another one was This older lady and she had a beautiful home and made us feel welcome.she offered us Drinks and wants us to go back sometime. My day was full of lightbulbs and fun. Not to mention the 2 Dona's. ~Emilie Benoit

Monday, June 11, 2012

Today the VBS group started out our day with an icebreaker. We handed out cups of M&MS and the kids each picked three from their cups. This let us get to know the kids a little bit before we started lesson. When we did start our skit we did the story of the roman soldier having faith that Jesus could make his friend better from a far distance. The kids really seemed to enjoy it! We also got to teach them the theme verse of the week which is: 1 Sameul 16:7 " People judge by outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart." The second group that we taught all came to the front and said the verse. It was really cool to see them all up there saying it! After that we sat and planned for the next few days then we ate lunch. After lunch we went up and changed into our bathing suits and went outside to play with the kids on a huge waterside! It was so much fun! The kids wanted us all to slide down on it. This was really cool because even though we didn't know each other that well they still loved us. This what I learned/took away from today. We should have a child's faith and love for God. We shouldn't question God and his plans for us. We also should just love everybody even people we just meet. Today was full of fun and some learning experiences. Overall it was so much fun! Keep praying for us! Thank! Hannah.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hey everybody! We are here in New Orleans! After a long drive from Illinois to Memphis and then Memphis to New Orleans, it is nice to relax at our new home for the week. Tomorrow starts the work! Fourteen staffers and students start work on Katrina rebuilding and six of us stay at the community center to help run a VBS day camp. There is another church staying with us and working with the same organization. All nineteen of them will be working with the builders, so First Pres. gets the VBS all to ourselves. But before all that begins, tonight we relax. Many are playing outside, some are preparing for the week to come, and there is a card game going on(which is to be expected with me around!). - Alex Dewane

We made it to New Orleans

We made it to New Orleans. We missed the majority of the rain on our way from Memphis to here. We will write more later tonight. Cerutti