Thursday, July 29, 2010

Exploring Washington, D.C.

Here is the latest video of pictures of the SERVEants! Day 5 and Day 6 are combined due to time restraints from participating in a poverty dinner last night.

Yesterday was the third day of work, and although the kids were really beginning to bond with their small groups, they were also really beginning to look forward to their day away to various parts of the nation's capitol. After a hard day of work, we headed over to the Silver Spring CRC where each kid received 75 cents to buy their dinner. Small groups pooled their money together, headed over to the supermarket, and bought some combination of ramen, spaghetti, hot dogs, and mac and cheese, and tried to warm them on the camp stoves. The kids experienced some of the difficult decisions that poor families have to make every day. After worship and a powerful message from Gil, we headed over to a local pool to cool off before bed.

Today, the SERVANTS headed out on metro to downtown DC to see the sites. Some folks signed up for the "cosmopolitan" tour of Georgetown where they enjoyed Georgetown Cupcakes as featured on Food Network and shopping in the upscale stores that line the Potomac River. Others opted to head to the new baseball stadium to see the Washington Nationals top the Atlanta Braves 5-3. The majority of the group made their way over to the Smithsonian metro stop on the national mall and strolled through the monuments (Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, FDR, WWII, and Vietnam) and perused the museums (Holocaust, American History, Natural History, Air and Space, and others). It wouldn't be a DC SERVE activity without a little thunder, lightning, and rain which soaked the tourists and delayed the baseball game mid afternoon. Once again, power outages interrupted metro service leading one SERVANT to say "DC really doesn't do well with storms."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

War Zone

Greetings from the war zone. There is currently a fierce battle of U.S vs. Canada in capture the flag out in the fields. US wearing blue bandanas, Canada wearing red. Don't to come tomorrow.

Today was day 2 of worksites. Most of the power has been restored in the county surrounding the school so the commute was significantly easier than yesterday. All groups got to sites safely, and returned with stories and good experiences.

Enjoy the slideshow!

Videos From the First 3 Days

Monday, July 26, 2010

On a warm Monday morning, the work began. Despite the initial surprise regarding the early wake up time, the SERVEants were excited and anxious to split up into their respective small groups and start work at their work sites. While the power outages across DC and Silver Spring caused several sites to be temporarily out of commission, the small groups were able to improvise and pick up trees and bushes that had fallen down from the torrential storm the prior day.
Groups were spread throughout the DC metro area in a variety of different work sites. While being exposed to the diversity that the DC metro area offers, SERVEants worked in soup kitchens, sorted clothes for a teen pregnancy center, and harvested food on a farm for the needy.
After a long day of work, the participants were fed a hearty taco salad dinner, and listened to a sermon given by Gil Clelland, the SERVE speaker. With the first day over, participants are just beginning to undergo the spiritual growth and personal reevaluation of beliefs and opinions that SERVEants go through. Tomorrow, participants will be switching sites and traveling to new and different organizations so keep updated.
Yours in Christ,
The DC Serve Host Team.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The scorching sun had already touched down on Silver Spring when our SERVE members started their day. After being risen from their refreshing slumber, the SERVEants were brought together for a group picture in the cool shade before they were split up into two groups for two different host congregations. Those who went to the Silver Spring CRC were treated to a lovely potluck lunch after their early service while the lucky attendees of the DC CRC service were given a firsthand look at the diversity DC offers. After their respective services, both groups navigated the DC metro and successfully made it to the DC Zoo.

Upon entrance to the zoo, the SERVEants were split up into small groups and issued a challenge: to explore the zoo and complete an exciting and intricate scavenger hunt that takes each group through the winding paths and diverse exhibits of the zoo. However, the scavenger hunt was not the only adversary the SERVEants would face. A monster storm touched down mere miles away, tearing down tree branches, cutting power lines, but ultimately failing to dampen our SERVEants spirits. While the storm did delay SERVE's schedule, the groups managed to brave the storm and get back to the host church in time for a comfort food meal of ham, green beans, and mac-and-cheese.

After dinner the participants got their first taste of the SERVE trips speaker, Gil Clelland. Gil has already challenged the SERVEants to embrace the opportunity to connect with both their fellow SERVEants as well as to redefine their relationship with Jesus Christ and the Father. Service time was followed by free time and then it was off to bed. The kids begin their separate worksites tomorrow so wish us luck!

Yours in Christ,
The DC SERVE host team

Saturday, July 24, 2010

We're All Here!!!

All the groups have arrived! Our Youth Unlimited rep has also arrived. We are only waiting for Gil, our speaker to arrive. It has been a good night of worship and ice breaker activities! We're off to a good start!


Greetings from Olney, Maryland where it is currently a balmy 110 degrees...... (actually about 102 but with humidity our heat index is at about 110.

Our fearless host team arrived this morning and set up camp in preparation for the arrival of the SERVants. Several groups have arrived safely and we're anxiously anticipating the rest! So far we have groups from Riverside CRC (Grand Rapids), Corsica CRC (South Dakota), First CRC (Kingston, ON), Community CRC (Indiana), Platte CRC (South Dakota), Westside Fellowship (Kingston, ON)

Stay tuned tonight for updates and pictures!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Preparation and Prayer

With the arrival of our SERVEants only a week away, the host team is brimming with excitement. Final preparations are being made to the heavily packed, and increadibly fun schedule. As the start date gets closer and closer, we continue to pray for safe travels, learning experiences, and most of all growth in Christ.

A few things about next week.....

- It is HOT in DC and we're not seeing any break in the temps next week. We'll supply water bottles at worksites but please bring your own if you have one! We'll have water coolers for gatorade at the outdoor worksites. Also please remember sunglasses, sunscreen and a bathing suit.

- If you have digital cameras, please bring them! We'd love to have at least one for each small group (10 groups) so we can document and post pictures for the family back home.

- If someone in your group has a GPS that you could borrow for the week, please bring it! DC can be tough to navigate and it would be really helpful to have per group.

- If you are under 18, you need to have the waivers signed for the worksites. Please bring them with you and we'll collect them when you arrive on site.

- Just a reminder to check your WELCOME LETTER for a list of things to pack!

We can't wait to see you all on Saturday!!!