From my St. Louis, MO mission trip. It was an amazing trip!! I really dont have time to type out everything right now, but I was just stopping in to say I'm back, and tonight I will get online and upload some pics, and tell you more about it.
Ok, well, I only have the group pic so far, but I will be getting more soon I'm sure. I am having trouble scanning it though... Getting an error message but I'll get that fixed....
So, here's what went down. We left Harvard, IL on Sunday, and met up with the Sterling, IL group and went down to St. Louis. On Monday we went to a little town called Kinloch. Population 800, about 15 years ago the population was 22,000. Airport bought about 80% of it, the rest moved out, then the airport decided they didnt want the land anymore... So it got alloted to the nieghboring towns.
First we went to a little church, where we were put through a simulation of being poor. That was interesting... I started out with no job, my "wife" had a full time job as a receptionist, my 16 year old daughter was pregnant, my 10 year old son was the perfect little kid, he was played by Clayton, a friggin beast. 22 years old, probably 250+ no gut at all, pure muscle. He is a linebacker, but he made a great 10 year old, lol. And then the 8 year old son... played by the most annoying 13 year old girl on the planet, lol. My 8 year old brought a gun to school twice, then continued to try and Pawn it off at the Pawn shop... I left him(her) in jail, lol.
After the simulation, we went to work at teh school. Little school, abandoned for a long time, floor had been torn up but not replaced, everything was going to shit... We varnished all the doors, cleaned the bathrooms and plenty more... Someone had clogged the toilet before it was abandoned... That was a nice surprice for FP(Father Paul, our priest with us). Then some idiots had put contact paper... on the windows... It was basically baked on. Took about 5 different cleaning chemicals and razer blades and 4 people with 2 hours to get that off... All of us were a little high at the end, lol.
The next day we went to a center where women experiencing domestic violence could go and cleaned that place up, even though it was already clean... And we also went to Grants farm. Saw the Clydesdale horses, the girls got in trouble for saying the word, "penis" by some random lady... Even though our priest was laughing right with us...
The 3rd day we went on a homeless walk. Experience what they had to do. Bad guide though. At the beginning, they gave us all T-shirts, and we all took them and threw them over our shoulder and walked. One dude was asking for a shirt, and told us if we didnt give him one, he would Murk us or something. We didnt give him one, cause he was a jerk about it. Later another guy walked out of a grove of trees and asked for a shirt. Someone gave him one, he was so happy, he tried to give us his shirt that he had been wearing for the past couple months probably... Make you realize what we take for granted...
Thursday we went back to the school and did more work. Outside, the fence had been really grown in with brush. Took a good 4 hours and cleared that, and the other group had cleared the parking lot of the bear bottle and pile of tires and what not. We also managed to get a fire started in the dumpster when no one was around... Must have been the chemicals and the heat.
That same day, another group had gone out to garden. Turned out, they were gardening in a rich nieghborhood.... They had to garden the bulivard with 3 lanes of St. Louis traffic on either side... One guy pulled up to my friend Mike, and said, "Are you guys convicts? Doing community service?"
Mike says, "No... We are on a mission trip..." Thats when you realize, when people see young people working, they automatically think they are forced to work... Not us, we all chose to go.
Friday we went to a Crysis Nursery and worked with all the kids there. My group of 5 men for the day left at lunch time though, figured the girls could handle that, so we went to the museum and out for burgers, lol.
We did a lot of fun stuff too, went for ice cream 6 times, six flags, museum, and just had fun back at the church. It was a blast!!
Funny story. We had 3 15 person vans for out group of 36 or so. So we come up to a stop light, and are parked in an arrange shown below.
I was in the van to the left of the car. We started rocking the van, and the 2 ladies in the car give us the wierdest look, and then they look forward again and see the van in front of them is rocking too!! This scared the crap out of them, lol. And as they look back at our van, they see the van behind us... Doing a Chinese Fire Drill, lol. It was good.
btw, what did I miss?
Anyone miss me? lol
Here's the only pic I have so far:
I am not smiling and I am in the top right. I feel pretty lame, lol.