Jonathan DeylingBack at it!
Thursday took us back to the work site, with the end near. We finished painting the garage and the cool seal on the roof of the garage. All that is left is to get the rest of the shingles on the roof section that needed repair and to clean the vinyl sidings and gutters. Yes, that's right, your kids are roofing! We have had about ten kids at a time on the roof and it's great to see how far they have come. Where they were once scared of the roof, they are walking around like Champs. While I don't recommend having your middle schoolers trying to meet roofing codes at your own home, it is great to see them conquer their fears of heights and providing a safe environment for Ruth and her husband.


    Jonathan DeylingHighs and lows
    So I missed yesterday's entry, but that pretty much sums up how tired we all were. On Tuesday, the working conditions got to "code Orange" and our kids were wilting. The afternoon consisted of twenty minutes of work followed by twenty minutes of rest. The Recreation staff really stepped up to ensure that the kids (and adults!) were safe. We accomplished most of our jobs thus far, and we are on track to finish our work.
    Most importantly, though, we have made a huge impact on our homeowner Ruth. She had to be out all day, but she actually made a point to call us on site to tell us she was sorry she couldn't be there. Wow! In only one day, our kids endeared Ruth with so much LOVE!

    On to Wednesday.... otherwise known as rafting day. We took the French Broad river by storm!now, I will have to fact check my guide, but he claimed that the French Broad river is one of the oldest rivers in the world, and one of the few that actually flow north, in North America. And, the name comes from the fact that it is really wide and used to flow into the French owned territory from the colonial days.
    Our kids did great, and only one of us fell in. He shall not be named here but I'm glad it wasn't me, for once! Free day continued with a trip to the local Dairy Queen for an afternoon snack, and dinner at Moe's BBQ, a local favorite.
    Work begins anew tomorrow, as we strive to finish the tasks set before us. Most importantly, though, these students have shown a great capacity for love and compassion towards those around them.
    Wednesday 6/14/17.


      Jonathan DeylingThe real work began.
      So Monday, we got down to the actual work that was set out of us. We are tasked with repairing a roof, cleaning out come vegetation, painting a garage, cool sealing the garage roof, and various beautification tasks. Our kids got right to it, accomplishing way more in day one than they were hoping. As we progressed through the day, it quickly became evident that another main objective was our home owner, Ruth. She takes care of her husband who has some pretty serious medical needs; she is basically homebound. Whether she believed in a bus load of middle schoolers at the start or not, more and more throughout the day she started to come out and talk with us. She clearly enjoyed the company! I explained to some of our kids just being there for Ruth is just as important as all the other work that we are set out to do. By the end of the day, Ruth told the Recreation people that "she got the best group of workers."
      Monday, 6/12/17


        Jonathan DeylingFrom one home to another
        So we left one temporary home for another today. After a wonderful picnic in a park for breakfast and invading Sunday school at Lexington UMC, we made the final 2.5 hour drive to Recreation Experiences. While the facilities are a bit rustic (no air, my goodness) the wide open field and cool northern breezes were extremely comforting. Right away, the worship mood drove even the least dance prone kid to get up and move. Dancing Generation and Deep Cries Out are Crowdoing favorites and our kids really got into them!
        The theme for the week is "In the Eye of the Storm," so you can guess what song we will be singing everyday. So, throughout this week, I hope that the kids and adults can find some quiet in Christian, in the middle of the all the stuff that goes on.
        Sunday 6/11/17


          Jonathan DeylingSurprises on the road
          Traveling long distances these days can be quite easy, with all of our digital distractions. So, take away those distractions for 9 hours and what do you get? Some really cool moments. Now I don't know what went down in the other van (but I heard it was a blast) but I can tell you that the 11 students in my van got some much needed quality time with each other. Surprisingly not many of them slept, although I think that was because of lack of comfort. I took in as much I could through eavesdropping, but the conversation between the captains chairs and the first row kept me laughing ,out of the way. Oh, also Gracie trying to teach Mir how to braid his hair was quite amusing. Best surprise of all? The spider that came crawling out if the back seat vents that sent a couple of the kids into a panic.
          Tomorrow the "real" trip begins, as we head up to Recreation, but today sure got us off on the right note.