An Adventure: Cali Bound

A missions trip came up this year. We really weren't sure about it but took the plunge and sent both Job and Lona.  Lona was originally the one invited but they were short kids and we volunteered Job to go as well.  It was with Emmanuel Bible Church's high school youth group:  IBC Recall.  I went to the meeting, gathered information, signed all the papers and went home to inform the kids what their mission's trip was going to be like.  The schedule was grueling: up and going by 6 am, activities such as painting and evangelizing all day, return for dinner, group gathering and bed by 11 pm. This was the pattern Tuesday through Friday.  It was daunting and there was a list of items to be had before they left.  They needed work pants and shirts and gloves.  We gathered supplies, clothes and money; packed them up and sent them off on a Sunday morning in a van full of kids and leaders. No phones, no internet, no connection to us until the following weekend.  I did text one of the leaders just to make sure all was OK.  We knew a little bit, they were staying in Oakland, California and that was about it.  It was all trust on our part, and adventure on theirs.  They were introduced to Inn and Out Burger.  Lona came home with a hat.  They stayed at a church with other kids from all over.  80 girls and 4 shower stalls without curtains.  That was remedied quickly. Kids were split into groups depending upon grades I think and sent off on work groups.  Job went with a leader, Gary and developed quite the relationship with him.  At one point, Job forgot his wallet when they went to dinner and Gary loaned him money.  He paid him back but paid too much.  When Gary returned home, he realized what Job did and sent him a letter.  Job read it and told me that the letter was "really neat and I'm going to save it in my room." To me that was impactful.   Lona had stories, stories about pink and blue mixing to purple.  The boys are blue, the girls are pink and there is no purple, but girls and boys still looked and flirted.  She is not into that.  Some days they arrived too late for dinner or they didn't get breakfast because they ran out of food but they loved it.  She said it was like being on an overseas mission trip.  There were bars on the windows, sirens and gunshots each night, drug deals across the street but they both loved it and want kids from our youth group to experience the same thing. The way home was an adventure as well.  They ran across the Golden Gate Bridge and hung out in Walgreens trying on little shirts for 2 hours while the flat tire was being fixed.  There were negatives but they all sounded like it was positive for them.  It was part of the adventure.

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