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Lackey, Year One
I climbed slowly into the van, trying not to cause an avalanche of backpacks, sleeping bags, and pillows. I was on my way to my churches first annual Lackey Missions Trip. I was hoping some of my friends would be staying at Sam's house with me. I was nervous, because it was the first time I would be sleeping in a different house than my parents for more than two nights in a row. There was no need to worry, though, because I would still be seeing my mom every day.
We were heading to "The Shack," which is our youth building on this special Saturday morning, to drop off our supplies for the week. After we dropped off our stuff, we were going to head to Rising Sun Baptist Church for our first glimpse of how the people in Lackey lived.
Our first job on the trip was to help with a food bank at the church. My best friend, Amber Pelsor, wasn't on the trip, but she lived four doors down from the church and came to help. We were runners, finding out how many people were in someone's home and getting them food. We had to get them bread, meat, lettuce, coke, and dry foods, one bag of each for each member of the household. It was a lot harder than it looked, some people needing nine of each item. There were people with anywhere between one and nine people in the household. That was hard work. WE worked for four hours, from eight to twelve. After this, some of the adults from Rising Sun Baptist Church served us lunch. After lunch, Amber had to go home. We had a lot of fun.
My church, Seaford Baptist Church, was partnering with Rising Sun Baptist Church for a missions trip. Rising Sun Baptist is in the heart of Lackey, which is the community we were ministering to. We were doing many activities, including a food bank, prayer walking, senior home help, evangelism, a Backyard Bible Club (BYBC), a sports camp, and a garage free sale. We then went to scope out the area for the backyard bible club. We were serving sno-cones to the kids that lived in the neighborhood. Only seven or eight kids showed up, not very many, but at least they were there. We all still had a lot of fun, and I ate six sno-cones. It was awesome. Some of our adult leaders told us hilarious stories of their families and things that had happened to them.
All of the girls, seventh grade through twelfth, were staying at Sam's house. I wasn't really looking forward to staying at her house, but it ended up being cool, especially since we raided the fridge every night. There was about eighteen girls staying there, plus Sam's dad, brother, three adult leaders, and Sam's brother's girlfriend. It was really crowded, and we were sleeping on all of the couches and every inch of the floor we could find. I think all of the girls that were there are really cool.
We woke up at five-thirty the next day, Sunday morning. We put on the nicest clothes we had brought with us and piled in the Pickle, which is our green church van with our backpacks. We headed for the church to have breakfast before we went to worship at Rising Sun. Many people had volunteered to cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner for us. They made some amazing food.
We ate the amazing food they served and then clambered into our cars to head up to Rising Sun. It was about a fifteen minute drive, and the four girls who didn't fit into the Pickle, so they were in a minivan with Mrs. Brockmiller. There were also about ten boys on the trip, and they were in different cars. We were all really excited.
When we finally got to the church, we walked into a small sanctuary with about fourteen rows of two pews each. The first six rows on the left were reserved just for us. The way they praise God is much different than what we were used to. It was amazing. My youth pastor, Jack Duffer was guest speaking.
There are two things in particular that I remember so vividly they could have happened just yesterday. One is the dancing. There was a group of girls and women doing amazing interpretive dancing. They were dancing so beautifully I couldn't believe it. I remember one other thing very well, also. It amazes me to this day. We sang this one song, and I could feel the presence of God fill the room. We sang out, and it amazed me. The song goes like this, "Lord you are good and your mercy endureth forever; Lord you are good and your mercy endureth forever. People from every nation and tongue, from generation to generation. We worship you, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, We worship you! You are good, all the time, and all the time, You are good. You are good, all the time, and all the time you are good. You are good, all the time, and all the time, You are good." It was amazing to hear all of the voices joining together, worshipping God.
After the church service, all of the kids from my church and some of their parents went out to eat at Waterside Landing. They have really good sandwiches. After we ate, we went down to the beach and swam. It was really fun.
We were really tired when we finally got back to Sam's house. Her dad, Mr. Revia, had made us Nestle chocolate chip cookies. We ate them all in about two minutes. They tasted really good, especially since we were so exhausted.
The next day was our first day for the camps, and we were all excited. We got ready as fast as we could, jumped in the pickle, and beat the boys to the church. It was cool. I was in the Backyard Bible Club, and we did a puppet show, a skit, songs, crafts, and sang. While we were still at Rising Sun, Pastor Jack handed out evangecubes. Evagecubes are cubes that are used to tell people about Jesus Christ. That day, at least one person invited Jesus into their life.
After lunch that day, we went on an evangelism trip to "the square," which is the worst, druggie area in Lackey. At first I was scared, but then I realized that the people we were with would make sure we didn't get hurt. There were some things that happened there that were really funny, but it would take forever to tell all of them.
The next day, not much happened, but Wednesday was awesome. One of the girls in the Backyard Bible Club brought her Spanish speaking cousin to club. Caitlyn had become a Christian on that Monday, and that day was absolutely amazing. One of the girls was a third year Spanish student, and with the help of Caitlyn, her sister, and a sheet of paper written in Spanish to help share the cube, she led Moises to become a Christian. The next day, he asked Jessica, another of the girls, how to share the cube in English. He knew only a few words in English, but he wanted to teach others how to know Jesus as a best friend. It amazed me.
On Wednesday night, we had a dinner for people from both churches in Newport News Park. We had a barbecue, and then a resident band from Seaford Baptist led us in worship. Between some of the songs, a few of the kids on the mission trip started jumping, rapping the words, "Oh! Oh! Hallelujah!" over and over again. Soon, all of the kids joined in. Some adults even joined us. It was totally awesome. After that, we sang the song, "Grace Like Rain." As we sang, it started pouring down rain. It was so totally God. At the end of the service, it stopped raining and a beautiful rainbow appeared in the sky. We were reminded of God's promise to always take care of us. It was so, amazing. There are no words to describe the work of God that night.
The next amazing thing that happened was our Thursday trip to Yorktown for evangelism. We split into groups of six people and started walking. I was in a group of only five people, Emily, Miss Julie, Meagan, and Kayla. Meagan and Kayla mostly stayed by themselves. Julie, Emily, and I shared with and tried to share with quite a few people, but no one we met became a Christian. My favorite thing was sharing the cube with these six bikers. Emily, who is very shy, turned the cube, while I spoke. At first I was scared, but then I realized that this could be six of my uncle's friends, because he is a biker. They were Christians, and they were really cool.
Friday night we went to the beach again, only this time everyone went. We had a worship service on the hill and had a praise time. We told "G-Time" stories, which are stories of things God has done in our lives recently. It was really cool.
The last thing we did on the trip was the Garage Free Sale. We had told people in Lackey about it, and there was an amazing turnout. Many people donated things, including a washing machine and dryer. People could come in and get things their family needed. Moises and his family came and got him some toys. He was so happy to have some new toys during his first weeks in America and to have some new clothes. Caitlyn and I, along with her sister, wandered around, got sno-cones, and looked at the graves in the church graveyard. After a while, we also looked at the toys. Each of them got a big bag of things to take home, but none as big as Moises. He didn't have very much since he had just moved here from Panama. As he left, he gave me a rattle teddy bear he had found. I have it in my room, and I will never get rid of it. He signed my mission trip shirt, and it says, "Te Amo, Moises." Te Amo means I love you in Spanish, and it really touched me.
Going on this mission trip changed my life, and I will never forget any of the many things that happened. Writing them all down would take many, many pages. It was a life changing experience.