Mobile Minutes: #Sike15 Part III


What day is it,
And in what hour?
The clock never felt so alive.

I’ve completely lost track of time down in southern Missouri. I’ve given up on tracking the days and instead I’ll just go with the flow.

The group had a unique opportunity on Tuesday. Down the road is a city called Poplar Bluff. Here one can find a halfway-house situation for women recovering from addiction (addiction to drugs and alcohol is a serious pandemic in the area). We have several female youth with us, and they were beyond thrilled to be able to work with this home called “Recycling Grace”. A few ladies were kind enough to share their stories, and a few hugs, with the group.

At “Recycling Grace” the organization has been allotted several rental properties throughout the community. Our crews main task was to work with paint scrapers and wire brushes on the porch of one of the rental properties.

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The. Amount. Of. Paint.

To show you how skiddish some people are, we had started on the porch of this duplex when this woman, in nothing but a towel, steps outside in broad daylight fearing she’s being robbed by us (paint scrapers near windows do that I suppose).

I’m still amazed at how easy it is to pack up, grab a passport, and disappear to another country as a missionary, when in so many ways, the same problems plague our own communities.

We’re mulching again tomorrow. The heat hasn’t stopped us yet.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: #Sike15 Part IV


It’s not even 6:00AM on Friday morning, and I’m staring at the ceiling. Like all good things, this trip is drawing to an end.

Last night was one of the more humorous events of the entire week. Armed with a snow-cone machine and some giant, neon poster boards, we took the crew to the local baseball complex.

Why?

Simple. Give away free snow-cones.

Darco, armed with syrup pumps (funny how God uses barista training), started dishing out the cones. The rest of us vanished into the streets and parking lots letting people know about the opportunity (note: growing out the beard has one drawback…a grown man with a beard, telling kids about free snow-cones at a park…borderline creepy).

In total we served up 250 snow-cones, made several new friends through the kids showing up, and were thoroughly blessed by cooler weather and a nice southern breeze. This was a nice change up from the 102℉ we witnessed while throwing mulch on Wednesday. Interesting factoid though, our group was able to successfully disperse all mulch to all playgrounds throughout the school district. With no heat sickness, and no injuries with the pitchforks being used. That’s rather impressive in my book. Personally, I get so much joy doing physical labor as a service. I’m thinking that’s because I’ve been going that route on missions for years.

It’s 6:00AM, time to shower, eat, pack, and hit the road.

Next stop, home.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: #Sike15 Part I


What do you hope to get out of this week?

Those were the words, three hours in, that I heard being asked in my direction. Heading to far, south Missouri what was my intent? My purpose?

Riding with a member from our house church group, I tried my best to swallow my pride and be honest.

I want to find my love again.

It was the first time to anyone in our group that I had openly spoken about my divorce. It’s this hidden guilt that I don’t want to acknowledge for fear of being rejected, but in the moment of this question it was needed. I spoke of my love for mission work, it’s the one thing within the church that I’ve always enjoyed. Because it was so close to my heart, it’s what took the biggest hit when I became divorced. I was convinced that I was on the disabled list for good. “God can’t use blemishes to do cool stuff like missions…”, I’d mumble to myself.

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There's fans! And air conditioning in our dorm!

My personal prayer is that humility during this mission trip, with this close group, can heal…spiritually…in an area that I 100% desire to be back alive. It’s a short, calm, safe trip so the environment is ideal. My hope is that as time progresses I can work up to where I once was.

You just watch, Darco isn’t afraid of international travel.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: #Sike Part II


Internet and data is pretty limited out here in southern Missouri.

Yesterday started the first day of the physical labor for the group. Terra Nova, the church we’re working with, has a great partnership with the local school district. Because of this we have a great opportunity to help out the schools maintenance department by spreading fresh mulch throughout the playgrounds…

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…of nine school buildings…

The weather cooperated throughout the morning with our small group (5) at the school. Thankfully, with pitchforks in hand, no impaling took place amongst the youth.

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Lunch was unique and incredible. There’s a bakery named “The Knead” in town, it’s managed and owned by the folks of Terra Nova church. With a prison just down the road, The Knead acts as an opportunity ministry to assist released inmates by providing employment baking bread. Our lunch for the week is coming from these awesome folks (and the bread is very good).

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The afternoon provided plenty…PLENTY of sunshine and more mulch. The crew held on firm for four hours spreading mulch. Conversations of faith, school, and the Illuminati all took place to keep our brains from frying (DYK: Kanye worked for the Illuminati and attempted to assassinate 2pac)?

The hard work paid off with a trip to Lambert’s in Sikeston, Missouri. The evening was full of thrown rolls, carbs, and sweet, sweet molasses.

Needless to say…the equation is simple:

Productivity=Sleeping Well

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Morning Storms


Darco is fast asleep next to me, there’s lightning to the north, and rumbles of thunder along the sky.
My body aches from training today, and I’m having a bit of a problem falling asleep at 2:00 AM.
Life is…kind of fun right now.
I dream about teaching nearly every night, my blood pressure is super low, food is getting cooked in the kitchen, and Darco and I have even planned a summer vacation. Sure, it’s not perfect, we argue, and occasionally there’s stress, but it all keeps working out.
Tonight I found myself apologizing to her for years past. It took time and experience to apologize for being so wrapped up in work over the past three years.
One of the wonderful things about teaching is knowing when your day ends. Yes, it’s plenty stressful, but there’s beautiful life outside of work. I’m blessed to still be young enough to understand that joy is found outside the office. Joy is found with family and friends. It’s found by not stressing about so much that isn’t known, and just embracing the blessing of what is.
It felt nice to confess to my wife that I made the mistake of missing time with her. That’s why lying in bed, typing this out, can be so enjoyable because I can feel her snuggled up close to me, soundly asleep.
No promotions in the world can replicate that sensation.
-D-