Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mission Camp: Day #4

As you can see from the time I am posting this, today was a long day!  Good thing we get to sleep in a little tomorrow (breakfast is at 9 instead of 7).  Today Kate and Dante were with the group that stayed at VUMAC to finish up the last of the painting and staining.  The benches look great!  The rest of us were at the Amelia Thrift Store.  Our main task of the day was loading up two trailers full of books, bags and toys to take to the Blackstone Goodwill store.  Amelia does not want to turn away any donations, but currently they have an excess to the point where they are running out of extra storage room before items can even be placed on the shelves in the actual store.  We got a good amount of boxes and bags cleared out from the storage room between the two trailer loads full. 

This evening our taco and mac and cheese meal (strange combination, I know!) was provided by Crewe UMC!  After eating, we got ready to go to the dance with Camp Rainbow.  We all had a wonderful time dancing with the camp participants.  Afterward we headed up to another room for the District Youth dance!  We had a great time dancing the night away.  After a closing prayer, we all headed back to our rooms for a good night's sleep (or to stay up and chat more about the awesome week it has been).  I'm thankful for the couple extra hours of sleep I'll get in the morning!  After breakfast, packing and a closing service, it is back to Farmville tomorrow. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mission Camp: Day #3

Another full day is coming to an end.  Today, Holly went with a group to FACES.  They prepackaged over 300 bags full of non-perishable items to be handed out on Saturday morning!  Quante went with a group back to Glory Reins where they finished painting the arena fencing and worked more on the shelter for the pasture.  Kate, Dante and LB all stayed around VUMAC staining the benches and amphitheater throughout the day.  I led a group including Amanda and Rachel to the Amelia Thrift Store where we sorted and organized donations to be sold to raise money for various mission projects around the community. 

After a delicious BBQ dinner provided by Grace UMC, everyone got free time in the pool!  We had a largest splash, smallest splash and most creative jump contest to round off the swim time.  After getting dried off, we had an amazing ice cream social provided by Journey UMC and the Amelia Thrift Store. 

Everyone is having such a wonderful time, and you can tell by their exhausted eyes by the end of the night that they are working hard.  Tomorrow marks our last full day (and work day) for the 2011 Mission Camp.  Most of us will be heading to the Amelia Thrift Store, with a small group finishing up painting around VUMAC and another small group finishing up work at Glory Reins.  Tomorrow night we will celebrate with a dance with Camp Rainbow and then just the Mission Camp participants.  I'm told it's a night everyone looks forward to each year! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mission Camp: Full Day #2

It was another full day of ministry for the Farmville District Mission Camp!  Holly, Quante, Dante and Kate all got up at 5am to head out to South Boston to glean with a team at 5:30am.   They had a long, hot day ahead of them, but they gleaned 4 truck beds full and overflowing with corn!  What a blessing that fresh corn will be to so many recipients.  Amanda, Rachael, LB and I were on the Glory Reins Ranch team today.  After meeting the horses, we went to work building a shelter for the horses in one of the pastures and painting the riding arena's fencing.  It was so hot today (heat index reached 115) that we took a water break every half an hour.  We made some good progress on the fence, and the majority of the posts are "planted" for the shelter.  Hopefully the team going tomorrow will be able to finish up the projects. 

This evening we had a wonderful meal provided by Mt. Pleasant UMC and a hand washing service led by Rev. Scott Beck.  After some free time of playing soccer and Uno and reflecting on the day, everyone turned in for a good night's rest before another full day of mission tomorrow.

Tomorrow's mission works consists of the Amelia Thrift Store, FACES, Glory Reins Ranch and more painting around VUMAC.  Thanks to all who have been praying for us this week.  Keep those prayers coming as we continue to work through the heat!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Farmville District Mission Camp

Our first full day is coming to a close here in Blackstone at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC).  The Farmville District Youth Mission Camp is going great so far!  Today we had our first mission project assignments: 

Holly, Dante, and Kate all went with the group to Butterwood United Methodist Church where they weeded and put in some new landscaping around the church grounds. 

Quante was with the group that stayed in Blackstone and wood stained some of the benches and the outdoor amphitheater at VUMAC. 

Amanda, Rachael, Lionel and I were with the group that went gleaning.  We began with picking up 15 rows of bean plants while others from the community harvested the beans from the plants.  While the community members were picking the beans, we headed over to another farm to glean corn.  The goal was for us to finish the field of 80 rows of corn (which our Society of St. Andrew leader, Mike, was hoping we could accomplish but did not think it would actually be possible).  Well, after a long day in the hot sun, we completed the field by pulling, bagging and counting (and even getting to distribute some of the) over 8,500 ears of corn!  All the harvested produce will go to those in need in the surrounding area.

After we all got back from our mission locations, took showers, and had a wonderful meal provided by Olive Branch UMC, we headed to a talent show!  This week, VUMAC is also hosting Camp Rainbow Connection ( which is a week long camp held for individuals with intellectual disabilities.  It was such a blessing to see the Camp Rainbow participants sing, dance, play piano, and even do an impression of the TV show "Deal or No Deal!"  For me, it was even more of a blessing to watch as the youth cheered, sang and danced along with the talent show participants.

What a wonderful, full day of ministry!  It is amazing to see the hearts of service the youth in our district have. Tomorrow: Gleaning, Glory Reigns Ranch (, and the Amelia Thrift Store!