I'd say that after this week the rest of the summer should be a breeze, but I'm afraid I'd jinx myself. Especially since on Sunday morning I said I felt prepared for the week. And then this week happened. Now it hasn't been an awful week. Quite the opposite, actually. It's been an incredible week. But, we've had just about every possible curve ball thrown our way. So that's been fun.
I think the best way to go about this is just to give a general overview of the week. And then we'll talk God things. Which are always good.
So...the groups started to arrive during/after our staff meeting on Sunday. Our group was the last to arrive, which was good because Steph and I needed to pack up the food and stuff to take down to the alternate housing site in Anacostia. We met the group, recruited some boys to carry food to the vans and after cramming our stuff, the food, and 12 people into the 12 passenger vans, we drove down to the church we stayed at for the week. As the kids unpacked, I met with the leaders and Steph took dinner orders. Good thing we called the order in only to find the restaurant closed early on Sunday. So instead of starting the trip off at one of our "family owned ethnic restaurants", we took 24 people to IHOP. I should have known it was going to be a long week. From IHOP we went our our prayer tour around the city. Which was great. Until half our group took 395S into VA instead of 295S into Anacostia. I was with the half that stayed in DC so we finished the prayer tour and met the rest of the group back at the church. The leaders split the kids into two serving groups, we went over schedules then went to bed.
On Monday my group went to Food and Friends where I went with one of the leaders and two kids to make deliveries. After driving all over Maryland (not really, but it certainly felt like it) we picked up the rest of our group and met Steph and her group at a park for lunch. The kids enjoyed the free time and actually rented roller skates and skated around Steph and myself as we ate our lunches in the middle of the outdoor roller rink. After lunch we went back to the church and sent the kids out to deliver fliers for VBS and a summer camp the church runs. We ate dinner at a Middle Eastern restaurant and then went down to the (National) Mall to debrief and talk about the day. Debriefing went well and the group took some free time to walk around and check out the monuments. In the middle of walking around, it POURED and we found out that the church had lost power. Great. Luckily by the time we got back to the church power had come back on and I went with the leaders to buy ice cream for the kids. I may or may not have bought a pint of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream for me and Steph. And we may or may not have sat on the floor in our room eating out of the cartons with plastic spoons And we may or may not have almost finished the entire pint. After our first full day with the group. As I said, I should have known it was going to be a long week.
Tuesday my group went to work at DC Central Kitchen, which really was a great experience. You know, except for getting stuck in traffic and waiting 45 minutes to even get on the interstate. And being 30 minutes late. But they fed us lunch when we were done. And that was really good. We met the other group at the Basilica where they were eating lunch and hung out until we went to a nursing home where the kids went around in 4 groups and visited with the residents. Steph's day was a little rougher than mine as she had to deal with a leader who was scared out of her mind to walk down a street in the city and pray for it. We ate dinner at Ben's Chili Bowl and right as the food was coming, I got a call from my boss saying the schedule for Wednesday was changed, which meant Thursday's schedule would change as well. Sweet. It's all about flexibility, right ;). Debrief at the FDR memorial was awesome and then we headed back to the church which still had power :D.
Yesterday, instead of leaving at 5:30 we got to sleep in and leave at 7:15 to go to ThriveDC to work in the kitchen and serve breakfast. We had lunch at the National Arboretum and hung out there for a while. We then went to our last site for the day, the World Vision warehouse out in Maryland. One of the leaders had gotten a really bad headache so she stayed in the car and slept. She woke up and came in to help around 3:20ish. Around 4, right after I had called and made reservations for dinner, we found out that the groups rental van had been stolen out of the parking lot. Yes. Somebody came and stole a 12 passenger van. One of the girls in the group is convinced the thieves are taking it to Mexico to transport people across the border. Probably. So. Reservation cancelled. Carryout ordered. New rental van waiting at Reagan (yeah...the 1st person we talked to at the rental agency really did ask the leader to get a form out of the glove compartment. Hence the "well...it was stolen...so we can't look in the glove compartment...") While the other van drove out to pick my group up, Steph kept the news from her kids and kept them working. She was now by herself with the group. When she finished up, they walked to a place where she felt safe and they could get picked up after we were dropped off at the main housing site. Good thing they witnessed a man getting mugged. Yeah. Long debrief last night.
Today, my group went and worked at our other alternate housing site (about a 15 on the sketch scale from 1-10) and Steph and her group went out to a farm to "glean". Just like Ruth! Now we've sent them out around the city to do their Urban Plunge where they have $2/person to feed themselves and hopefully at least one homeless person. Steph and I are chilling at Ebenezers and enjoying some relaxation. Yup...it's been a great week.
For real though. It's been a crazy week, but it's also been blessed. More on that later :D