Friday, July 31, 2015

SPY Day 6

Today was an awesome day on the worksites! Team Orange was able to finish the bathroom and both bedroom floors and they look amazing! Team Maroon started the day at the original worksite. We fitted the drywall patch for the hole in the wall and cleaned up the site, then it was off to another site. Our first stop was to help another group finish a deck, because they had a huge flooring project they were working hard to complete. After that, we headed to another site to lend a hand to another group. At this site we were helping a woman clear out her kitchen because she is having the floor replaced next week after a pipe burst and created a severe mold issue underneath the tile. They were also painting one of the bedrooms. Our two groups worked really well together and we were able to complete the tasks! 

After dinner we had a wonderful worship service where Pastor Jonathan talked about Sabbath and the importance of being still and knowing that God is present and full of grace. He preached about how we are called to rest and abide in God's grace and take the time to not just slow down, but to stop and be still.  It was such a powerful word after a week of being busy and working hard! We shared together in Holy Communion and a time of prayer to wrap up worship.

After worship we headed outside for a campfire, s'mores and the annual talent show. We had a great time in fellowship with each other. 

It's hard to believe that this week has already come to an end. The youth have already asked me if they can come back again next summer! Every one of them has done an amazing job this week learning new skills, working hard and serving as God has called them to. I'm so proud of them and blessed to be in mission with them this week. A special thank you to Jeff, Rich and Kari who served as my co-leaders this week. I couldn't have asked for a better team! Thank you each for all your prayers this week. They have meant so much to us. Please pray for safe travels tomorrow and we will see you all soon! 

Grace and peace,
Rev. Lyndsie Blakely 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

SPY Day 5

We had another busy day at our worksites! Team Orange finished laying new flooring in one room and began work in the final bedroom. They will start installing the new flooring tomorrow and are motivated by the challenge to get it finished on our final workday here at SPY! Team Maroon spent the day painting more cool sealing on the roof, slowly getting the laminate tile up from the kitchen, ripping out some dry rotted walls, weed eating, and removing the appliances from the trailer. 

This evening was the community cookout for dinner which is such a neat tradition at SPY. Every work group has the opportunity to invite their homeowners to join us for dinner and worship on Wednesday. It's a really neat opportunity to deepen the relationship between the youth and those they are serving. Of course, team maroon doesn't have a home owner and team orange's homeowner wasn't able to make it, but there were several families there which was really neat to see!

After dinner we had another great worship service followed by a team project.  Each work team was tasked with painting a rock as a gift for their homeowner.  At Fieldstone UMC, when you join the church, you put your name on a rock and place it around the altar.  This is because their vision statement is ROCK- Reaching, Open, Connecting, Kindling. So this rock was to represent Fieldstone UMC, our individual church and each member of the team! Each work group did an awesome job creating a really unique and special gift for their site.  We were then each given a small rock to paint and take home. The youth were so creative in their designs. Check it out:

It's hard to believe that tomorrow is our last full day here at Project SPY! Pray for strength and motivation to keep up the energy to complete our tasks at hand for our last day at the work site. The youth have been doing an amazing job!

Grace and Peace,
Rev. Lyndsie Blakely 

SPY Day 4

We had another great day on the worksite! Team Orange made a lot of progress on their flooring install. Team Maroon did some more demo and gutting of the trailer and began to cool seal the roof. There's lots more to get done in the next two days, but I think everyone is up to the task. 

This evening was the annual Instagram scavenger hunt which was a highlight from last year's trip! We had a blast driving all over Christiansburg and Blacksburg taking pictures with all the things on our list. Take a look at a few of them:

We ended the evening with a beautiful candlelit worship service focusing on how nothing can separate us from God's love and light. Even when we find ourselves in the darkest of places, God's light shines brightly and cuts through the darkness to guide us and offer us hope. 

We ask that you pray for us to have strength tomorrow at the worksite; it's supposed to be a hot day! 

Grace and Peace,

Rev. Lyndsie Blakely

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

SPY Day 3

Today was our first day on the job site! Being a big group, we are split into two work teams this year.  
Team Orange led by Rich and Kari spent the day working on pulling up some carpeting and flooring that needs replacing. I want to share a really wonderful story from team orange today. One of the churches that's here this week brought several prayer shawls a few ladies in their church had made.  These shawls were prayed over here in worship yesterday morning and then various work teams were able to take them to give to those in need that we encounter this week. When we went to visit our worksites yesterday, we discovered that the homeowner for team Orange's worksite just lost her grandmother two days ago. So team orange was able to give this prayer shawl to the homeowner along with offering a prayer for her and her family. Sherri was so touched and felt so blessed by this gesture! I thank God every day that I get to work with these amazing youth! 

Team Maroon led by Jeff and me finally got our new assignment for the week.  We are working on gutting a trailer, doing cool seal on the roof and doing a few other repair projects along with some yard work.  While we don't currently have a homeowner, this house soon will. Unfortunately, this trailer had been functioning as a pot house. We don't know much more than that, but either by choice or by force, it is now vacant.  A woman from Fieldstone UMC has acquired this trailer and once renovations are complete, it will serve as a shelter for battered and abused women.  It is such a beautiful story of new creation and redemption and we feel so blessed and honored to be a part of the creation of what will be an amazing place of ministry. 

After dinner we played some awesome Minute to Win It games then the youth were surprised to receive their agape from the church. Thank you so much to those who wrote notes and cards of encouragement to the mission team. They were touched that even people they didn't know are praying for them and thinking about them. 

Tomorrow it's back to our work sites! Thank you for all your love, prayers and support.

Grace and peace,
Rev. Lyndsie Blakely