Today was a repeat of Monday and Tuesday but hotter! These youth and adults are troopers. I owe them a mission trip to Alaska next year.
Our teams continued their their work at our three projects. The anti trafficking group finished their work today, having distributed 1,500 informational cards throughout South Houston!
The Rosharon teams did some impressive repairs on the greenhouses, scaling great heights to replace the tarps over the greenhouse.
At the Kids Club, they had a record 65 kids show up for swimming lessons! Amazing. What a great thing to provide to these kids and families.
The group did their fourth performance tonight and did an amazing job. They enjoyed a delicious dinner, small group time and then an ice cream sundae bar! They earned it.
We learned a few years ago to take a little work break on Wednesday afternoon in order to lessen the “Thursday meltdowns”. 😏 The youth work so hard. Seriously. They work at sites in the heat most of the day and then sing each evening, often eating dinner as late as 8 pm. They’ve earned a little fun in the middle.
Today they worked from 7 or 8 until 12 pm. Then, we traveled about 30 minutes to sing at a nursing home. The residents there just moved in a week ago after having been displaced 10 months ago because of Hurricane Harvey. It was a great celebration for them!
After the performance, we traveled another 30-40 minutes to Stewart Beach in Galveston. Some of our youth had never seen the ocean or been to a beach! Although we only had a couple of hours there, they loved it. Everyone grabbed dinner at a nearby place before heading back to the hotel.
Pray for our youth and adults that we will finish strong the next two days. Pray for safety as we serve and work in hot weather. Pray for our continued relationships with the children in the apartment complex and at the homes we are serving. Pray for the refugees resettling in this city and for help to navigate the systems and find meaningful work. Pray for Butch and Nell Green and their continued work and ministry here in Houston long after we’re gone.
Your kids rock. I’m so very proud of them. Thanks for sharing them and trusting us with them. ❤️
Even though it is Texas HOT, today was a really great day. The teams headed out for their projects between 8 and 9 am, depending on their locations and start times.
Our hottest projects are the Rosharon projects. They are in the outdoor sun, heat, and humidity all day. And one group is working in a large greenhouse which has to be around 120 degrees inside. I’m amazed and humbled by our youth and adults and their willingness to work and serve.
Our Kids Camp has a fantastic day with even more children coming out for fun. The swimming lessons are a HUGE hit. Many of the refugee children have never swam. Last year, a child drowned in the complex pool because he didn’t know how to swim. So, people are eager for their children to be taught. It has opened a lot of doors for conversation and relationship building. On a persona note, I was pumped to be able to use my Swahili to bond with some kids from Tanzania and Rwanda.
Our antitrafficking group visited hundreds of home today giving out information to help people speak up about forced labor and sex trafficking. Such important work in a city that has some of the highest rates of trafficking in the US.
We sang at a senior center this evening and the crowd loved our youth. What’s not to love, right?
After a delicious dinner by our Kitchen Extreme team, we heard briefly from Butch and Nell Green about their work with refugees in Houston. Great to hear stories that remind us of the very difficult journey for refugees and how, as followers of Jesus, we can help.
Enjoy the pictires! Tomorrow we work in the morning, sing early afternoon and then enjoy the evening at Stewart Beach!
Tonight's update won't be long. It has been a full day and it is midnight. First days are always a bit chaotic as we try to get a routine established and familiarize everyone with our new host city for a week and expectations.
This morning we met with Cooperative Baptist Field Personnel, Butch and Nell Green, for orientation for our work projects this week. Tomorrow night at dinner, the Greens will go into more detail about their work and ministry.
One large group worked in Rosharon on two separate teams. One team is doing repairs to a greenhouse, a source of income for a Cambodian family. This was an incredibly hot job with no breeze in the greenhouse. Our youth were troopers. The other worked on some home and greenhouse repair for a Cambodian woman. The other large group worked at an apartment complex sharing stories, playing games and building relationships with parents and kids that will hopefully deepen as the week continues. A final small group distributed information about human trafficking in the South Houston area.
We had our first concert this evening at the retirement center. The energy was high and the kids sounded phenomenal. I did a Facebook live event of our performance that you can see on my Facebook page.
We're having a great week thus far! Thank you for praying for us and cheering us on from home. Below are a few pictures from our Monday.
Blogs are written by various adults and youth involved in Refuge.