March 17, 2015 – Oceanside Day 5

1As told by Travis Neal

Today was an incredibly productive and fast paced day. Although it moved by in a blur, we probably achieved the most so far this week. I started out working at The Shack, the local hangout being used by the Generations North Church youth group. We started with work that I initially thought was meaningless, which was pulling weeds. Halfway through that Jenna, one of our leaders, noticed how I was not into the work, she pulled me aside and told me that I need to be a leader and stop complaining. This was a little wake-up call and put me into a much more positive mindset for the rest of the day. I and Colin then went on a little adventure where we had to take fence pieces up the hill to a preschool that the church runs, where we were swarmed by small children who asked us a million questions. Then we went back to work and cleaned out The Shack some more. We moved all these old televisions and game tables and later Brett took these to the dump. Some other guys installed a toilet and painted a wall there also. We were later called to head back to Libby Elementary School to help out there some more. The first thing we did there was do a deep clean of all the picnic tables outside of the cafeteria. There were at least thirty tables and each one took about thirty minutes of deep scrubbing and wiping down. We split into teams of two and turned it into a little competition to see which team could clean two tables the fastest and they would be judged on their cleanliness. Me and my teammate, Ruth, going by the name #team2focused, ended up in second place, with the great prize of a free big gulp from 7-11. After that, Gracie and I helped an office administrator at the school named Yolanda. We did odd jobs for her that just helped make her day easier, such as making name cards for all the third through fifth graders. Then we helped unload a van full of things such as toys and desks that were being donated to the school. We then headed back to the church where we are staying and enjoyed a dinner of pancakes and breakfast tacos. After our group sharing time, we had an impromptu dance party outside. I was taught how to two-step by Sarah, which is a big deal for me because I am actually from Florida, and have only been living in Texas for nine months. It was all in all an exhausting and fun day, and we can’t wait for the next one.

2As told by Sarah Ward

Hi everybody! It’s Sarah Ward (AKA the pretty one)! So this week has not been all that eventful for me because I am weak and can’t lift things. I was feeling very discouraged about that this morning, so I said a prayer, asking God to please use me in some way. We woke up at about7:30, and left for Libby Elementary School where Alison Pleuckhahn, Liz Wytko, Luci Whorton, and I worked in a library and cleaned books! The day before, we were organizing them by color on the shelves and read to the kids, which is the kind of work I really enjoy. We started off with just the four of us scrubbing books and not getting many of them clean because they were super dirty and it took forever. Then, at lunch, Liz and Alison went and colored with kids, and I scrubbed down these super dirty tables outside. I was really scrubbing these tables with my entire being, and kids were walking by looking at me and asking me what I was doing and why. It wasn’t long before the kids formed a group and insisted on helping me! It was really awesome getting to know them and having them thank me and being able to encourage them to keep their school clean even when I’m gone! After making the kids go back and play at recess, I scrubbed a little longer, grabbed some lunch, and went back to the library where we continued to clean books. The librarian was extremely grateful for our help and said that because of our work she was able to keep the library open for a few more weeks before having to close it for summer cleaning. Because cleaning books was taking forever we needed reinforcements, so our wacky Shack people and our Cesar Chavez people came with tables and chairs and helped us clean books. I, being a natural leader of course, took charge and ran that joint. (Which means I handed people books and refilled their cleaners and put stuff on shelves.) We cleaned about one third of the library and then had to leave. The adults rewarded us with a trip to 7-11 where I got Slurpee’s and a bag of chips. After that we headed back to the church and had brinner (breakfast for dinner) and ice cream. After share time, I taught the marvelous Travis Neal how to two-step, and then bothered him while he wrote the other blog. So that was my day, you’re welcome.

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