March 14, 2017 – Tracy, California

17309407_10212507475268529_2838936897571177335_nAs told by Amanda Montgomery: Ello Mates, what a week it has been!  From working in a garden to painting park benches, we have finished many projects this past week.  Today, my group painted benches, tables, and trash cans at different parks around Tracy.  Working with me today was Mrs. Downs, Lance, Kathleen, Brett, Jenna, Jamie, Emily, Rylie, and Kat.  We finished 3 parks which contained 27 benches, trash cans, and tables total.  At the second park, a reporter came to interview some of the people in my group.  It was exciting to see how much we have impacted the community of Tracy so much that we will be in their newspaper.  Many people come up to us throughout today and they tell us how much they appreciate what we are doing, so it’s a great feeling to see how God is impacting their community tremendously through us helping in the city.  Another thing that people have told us is how much they appreciate us coming all the way from Texas to help while the people already living in Tracy and the neighboring cities don’t do much to help their own community.  Helping the community gives us the chance to tell them about God and Southwinds Church because it brings up the questions, who are these people?  What are they doing here and what is their purpose here?

My team started the third, and biggest, park after lunch at about 1.  At 3, we only had about half the park done and didn’t know if we would be able to finish it before we had to leave at 5.  We felt really motivated to finish the rest before we had to leave, and we got it done by 4:30.  I thought it was cool that we were able to finish the park that quickly, and it looked great!  We have been able to use this trip to show how great God is.


16999120_781174743395_3952924465757265671_nAs told by Allison Billingsley: Today we started our work day at 9:30.  One group went and painted a park and the other group that I was in painted walls outside and in the park.  After a couple of hours our painting group was already getting a lot done.  A man from the newspaper came by and took some pictures of us and one thing that he told us that stood out to me was when he said that people don’t normally go out of their community and help someone else’s.  That opened my eyes that what’s normal to someone else isn’t normal for another person because normal to me is helping other community’s and mine.  After he left, our group went to Mr. Pickles and ate sandwiches.  After lunch we went back and tried to finish as much painting as we could in the time that we had. When we came back to the church we took showers and got ready to eat dinner.  The Filipino Small Group cooked for us and after dinner we had a little bit of a dance party.  Then we talked in a group about what happened in our day that stood out to us and then went to bed.

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