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Archive for April, 2009

Last Friday I spent an evening with a few delightful boys at Chuck E. Cheese.  They were so awesome to hang out with and worked together as a team to get almost 800 tickets within 90 minutes!

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One word to describe our trip camping with the boys – adventure!

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On Thursday we had a lot of fun putting up our tents and building a fire. We roasted hot dogs and s’mores. And by 9pm it was dark and we went to our tents for the night.

However, by 3am, we were still WIDE AWAKE and COLD. I checked the weather and realized it was going down to freezing temperatures by the end of the night….and we just couldn’t take it anymore. We all piled in the van in our pajamas and headed to a hotel. But, wait! Our van was STUCK IN THE MUD. So, in their pajamas, the boys and Mwai and Molly spent about 30 minutes trying to push our 15 passenger van out of the mud. We’d done it a couple of times already that day, but it just wasn’t working. Finally, we made it to the road and by 4am, we were checked into our hotel.

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The hotel had free breakfast! We went back to our campsite (getting lost for about 90 minutes), packed up our gear, and went fishing and played mini-golf. Lancaster was about an hour’s drive away, so through the countryside we drove. After lunch and a lot more driving, we went on an Amish buggy ride in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania.

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Since we had only gotten about 4 hours sleep, we checked into our new hotel and went swimming and out to eat, ending the day watching Friday night wrestling. Saturday was more swimming at the hotel, Amish tourist shopping, and then the drive back to Camden.

The boys impressed me with their patience and appetite for adventure. Things certainly didn’t go as planned, but it ended up being a fun experience!

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Baby Preacher

What a great way to start the morning. It made me laugh.

Found via Internet Monk

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Drew Benton writes very eloquently about an experience with friendship and love hurting, from an urban ministry perspective.

Several weeks ago I was approached by one of my homeless friends out in the parking lot of Safehouse Outreach. He told me that he thought we were the same size and wondered if I had any jeans that I wasn’t using that I could give him. I told him I did and that I would try to remember to bring them to him. Fortunately I remembered and gave him the pants a few days later.

About a week or so after that exchange I was on a city walk with a team of teenagers. We bumped into my friend and I noticed that he had on the jeans. So, as a way of starting a conversation I said to him, “are those the jeans I gave you?” He quickly denied that they were for some reason. However, I could tell that they were, in fact, the pants that I had given him.

Little did I know, but when I asked him abut the jeans I had hurt his feelings. You see, my friend did not like feeling like a “charity case.” He did not want others to know that he was wearing used/ donated pants. So, when I came to the park and said that I hurt his feelings and embarrassed him in front of his friends and my group.

You know… this is one of those things I don’t like about love. You try to reach out to help someone and they end up hating you for it. You show them love and they end up hurting you in the end. Or worse, you show someone love and they receive it as hate.

All I have ever done is try to help this guy. I have connected him to two programs, given him my own clothes, found a house for him to live in for free as long as he didn’t use drugs, established a mailbox for him, and feed him every night for years. I have bent over backwards to help him and still my actions caused hurt in him.

Sometimes love hurts. That is a reality that too many people are not willing to accept. We think relationships should just be a walk in the park. Love takes a lot of hard work. And sometimes, it hurts real badly because the person you love does not reciprocate. This is where we have to push past the hurt and choose love anyway.

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Greetings from Washington, DC

We had a GREAT time visiting Washington, DC this week with some of our 4th grade girls. It was an action packed three days.

On Monday our surprise activity was visiting Adventure Park USA where we got to ride a roller coaster, go karts and play games. We went out to dinner at CiCi’s Pizza and tried macaroni and cheese pizza.

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At the end of the day we went swimming in the hotel pool and enjoyed the jacuzzi (and learned how to spell the word jacuzzi, heh).

Tuesday we visited the National Zoo

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and spent a lot of time on the Metro and walking around the city. Thankfully, the rain held back and we were able to check out the White House.

At Obama's house

In the evening we visited our intern Molly’s family in Fairfax, Virginia. They hosted us for a lovely dinner. The girls made themselves right at home!

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Later that night, after more swimming at the hotel, we went Midnight Monumenting. This tradition involves visiting the Washington, DC monuments in the evening. It was so much fun because the monuments weren’t teeming with tourists, and we got to talk to interesting park rangers and learn more about history!

We visited the Capitol Building, Vietnam Memorial, and the Washington Monument. At the Lincoln Memorial the girls stood in the same place Martin Luther King, Jr stood while giving his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. The security guards also told us about all the celebrities who have visited the monument.

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And finally, on Wednesday morning we went out to breakfast, went shopping for souveniers, and visited the American History Museum where we got to see historical artifacts like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz’s ruby slippers and learned about Frances Scott Key and helped to make an American flag in an interactive workshop. In the evening we drove back to Camden and the girls were FINALLY tired!

Throughout the trip the girls were constantly saying “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” for this opportunity. The girls were able to have brand new experiences and there was a great spirit of love and unity within our group. I know it was a trip none of us will forget. Thanks to you who made it possible with your financial support and prayers!

Today we’re going camping with the 4th grade boys! Check back for more updates and photos!

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Today our Spring Break trip begins with a three day visit to Washington, DC with our fourth grade girls! Thanks to all of you who donated money! We’ll be visiting the National Zoo, the White House, Capital Building and a couple of museums. Should be a lot of fun!

Pray for us, please!

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Last Tuesday we had several volunteers give us an awesome Easter party – making Easter baskets, an Easter egg hunt and games. The kids got lots of candy and prizes and had a great time. My friend Mijin was also visiting from Little Lights Urban Ministries and it was great to see her again!

Easter 2009
Easter 2009
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