Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Paint can full of fun

In the stillness of the morning, "Beep, beep, beep" breaks the quiet. Fumbling fingers search to quiet the alarm as a bed creaks. Opening my eyes, I focus on the clock - 6:30 a.m. it reads. I lie quiet listening as Claire's door opens and she pads down the hall to the bathroom. We have 1 hour until we leave and 3 people are still in bed...
What is Work Camp? No, it's not a place like a slave camp, but rather an opportunity to serve and learn. Caleb and Claire, with their friend Dillon, and other youths from area churches are taking part in a week long project helping others by painting homes in the surrounding area.
  • Is is easy? No, not in the hottest part of the summer. They are scraping houses, climbing ladders, hammering, and rolling paint.
  • Did they want to do this? Yep! This is something they look forward to each year. Seeing whose team they're on, what van they'll ride in (this is important especially if your van has air conditioning), what houses they'll paint...
  • Is it fun? You bet! I love to hear the stories they tell about the kids they work with, paint colors, the people they meet, morning devotions, and the funny things that happen.
  • Do the kids get paid? No, we actually pay for them to do this! The money, with sponsors, goes to provide paint and supplies.
  • Do the kids get anything from this? Besides a t-shirt and sore muscles, they are meeting new kids from other churches, sometimes they stop at Sonic. More importantly, they are learning, not only how to paint, but work ethic and helping others without expecting anything in return.
  • Is it worth it? Absolutely! We love for the kids to grab hold of opportunities to learn, grow, laugh, live, and serve. On Thursday, there will be a dinner for the home owners, workers, and sponsors. They'll get a chance to mingle, laugh, cry, watch a video of the week, and remember. Each afternoon, when I pick them up, they drag their weary, paint splattered bodies outside, ease themselves into the car, and slowly, conversations fill the silent spaces with laughter, memories, and "ahhhhh's - feel the cool air".

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