Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Project Noah

as i'm leaving, a change comes on my eyes, these streets persuading me with mumbles strange goodbyes. and through the water, through the ring, to the soul of everything. i wash my heart out on the stones, and i'm almost gone.

i spent all of last week in new orleans with the youth group from grace umc (shreveport). we worked with an organization called project noah, and did rebuilding/clean up work after katrina.
::side note--it's been 4 years since katrina hit. 4 years. but as we drove through new orleans her mark is still COMPLETELY evident. the spray painted circles denoting survivors/bodies are still on most remaining houses, stairs lead to nowhere, homes are still boarded up. you wouldn't think it's been four years.::

when i signed up to go on Noah, i had no idea of the impact it would have on my life. first of all, my crew dug a house foundation by hand -- no machines, just shovels and our own strength. it sucked! but what an incredible experience! how many people can say they have done that? not many. also, to my surprise, i was an "adult" on the trip. what?? having this title really challenged me throughout the week; for instance, when the work became almost unbearable and i wanted to quit and/or complain, i had to remind myself that the youth in my group were watching me...that I was now the one setting the example, which meant i had to push through and stay positive, all the while encouraging the kids.

i had never been in an "adult" role with youth before, and it both humbling and encouraging that scott and sarah have that kind of confidence in me. the week was long, hard, and challenging...but i walked away feeling a little more grown up.

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