August 2, 2013
The week of work has come to a close today but that doesn’t mean our time on this mission is over yet! Finishing the week we spent of these houses was an incredibly powerful time for us all because it meant that either the home owner would soon be moving in after inspection or that the tools would be passed to the next volunteer group to further our work and others on a place that will one day be a home.
It is an indescribable feeling we all are sharing that at this point in the week is unique and special to this group of people at this place and point in all our lives. We got out early today around 2:30 and got to spend our last house of day time New Orleans wandering, shopping, and eating our way through the French Market. A memorable moment of this event was that we all split into different groups based on what we wanted to do but yet with no communication we all ended up at Café Du Monde eating Beignets and taking over one of the most famous cafes in all of our country. Matt Detloff led us in our reflection and discussion of “How God Loves Us” back at the fellowship after we were all full up on Po-Boy Sandwiches. An amazing moment to be a part of this night was before Detloff’s talk we sang the song How He Loves Us and all with arms wrapped around each other swayed and belted the lyrics that follow out to God as our prayer;
“And oh, how He loves us, oh,
Oh, how He loves us,
How He loves us all”
The Next day we got an early start and said a sad Goodbye to the City of New Orleans. From our time here we’ve learned to be loving, share love, except love from others and God and to treasure everything we have in our lives because you never know what will happen the next day. The hospitality from Pastor Randy, SBP, and the rest of the city is something I know we all will miss, especially the girls, since they treated us like Southern Bells. Instantly in the car everyone fell deep into a much needed nap, except for the drivers and co-pilots of course as we stayed awake by the allure of a hot McDonalds breakfast in our near future. Some cars after our spectacular breakfast had regained energy and sang and danced it up for the second leg of the drive while others fell right back to sleep. We stayed in St Louis that night where we heard from Patrick on the topic of how to go back to the reality of our lives and remember all we learned this week about love. He killed it naturally of course, and with his message moved the kids and leaders to think deeply in reflection about our trip and how blessed we are for it all. There really was nothing too exciting to report on from the drive home the second day which makes sense since a lot of it was spent in Iowa. This week will leave an impact on all our hearts in ways that, to outsiders of the mission trip will never understand. When I can’t stop smiling I know that God has left me with a gift that I will never forget, and I’ll be the first to admit that the drive home and now being home… I can NOT stop smiling, as I know others are feeling the same way. NOLA 2013 is now over but the marks we left in others’ and each other’s lives will last forever.