Sunday, July 04, 2010

Nashville Mission Trip: Day 1

Well, we had a rather uneventful trip down to Nashville.  We ran into a few storms but other than that it was beginning to become a rather boring, sleepy ride.  After I just laid down the law about energy drinks being off limits, I found myself about two hours into the trip stopping at a gas station in order to down a double shot espresso Starbucks energy drink with a box of Nutter Butters. Yum!  It was just the thing to get an injection of caffeine, B vitamins and sugar, to keep me fully alert and then some for the rest of the trip. 

Of course I was extremely excited to finally be on a mission trip with my new GPS!  For all the students who have been on trips with me over the past 20 years they can attest to the fact that every once in a while I would get our team a little tiny bit lost as I try to navigate our mission team through the subway systems of New York, or the Loop in Chicago, or New Orleans after the Katrina mess, or the hills of Pittsburgh.  BUT NOW I HAVE A GPS!  No more getting lost and heading the wrong way!  But as fate would have it, I was coming up to a split in the road and hesitated for one moment, questioning the advice from my handy-dandy GPS.  And wouldn’t you know it, in a split second I found myself on the wrong road.  I quickly got the phone calls from all the cell phones of certain teenagers letting me know of my mistake.  Luckily, my GPS was more forgiving and gave me the quick route to get back on track . . . recalculating . . . recalculating . . . recalculating.  

We arrived at the Eastside Baptist Church and met our Center for Student Missions team.  They are a sharp bunch of 20 somethings.  I was impressed with what appears to be a team that are friendly, fun and excited about what they are doing.  They got us situated into our rooms.  What is different this year is that we are all sleeping together on the floor in the church.  We do not have dorm style quarters like previous trips.  So the energy that is created in putting a bunch of junior high boys together all in the same room is enough to power a major city.  Being the first night of the trip they are WIRED! 

Once we got settled into our rooms the CSM team took us out to dinner.  We went to a Greek restaurant and enjoyed a delicious meal.  There was lamb, chicken, rice, cilantro and cucumber sauce on our plates.  Throw them all together in the little pita breads provided and BAM! You got yourself Greek bliss that makes your taste buds sing. 

We came back to the church for orientation.  They covered many rules.  Of course my 9th grade boys want to know if they can drink coffee.  Coffee = caffeine = energy drink!  NO! Unless of course they already have a healthy adult-size addiction to it. 

Now it is time for them to go to bed!  Lights out at 10:30PM!  This is always a sick pleasure of mine since I know that many of them have gotten themselves used to staying up till 1 or 2 AM.  They have to be reminded that only a month ago the got up at 6AM and went to bed around 9 or 10.  So the girls went right to bed and the boys needed some help.  Extra doses of sternness and threats.  One good day of hot weather and hard work ought to take some of the edge off of their insane energy and get them to embrace “lights-out time” tomorrow!  

Our teens have been broken down into three different groups that will be doing different things throughout the week.  I think we have some really good teams that should work well together.  There is already a little bit of nerves among the girls but I think all will be just fine once they get to experience ministry together and have to depend on each other more. 

Well with that I better hit the sack too.  I am not the only one who has gotten used to late nights during the Summer months. 

And let me say if just ONE MORE GIRL asks me to take them to go see Twilight 3 (Eclipse) for our free night I just might blow a gasket.  I am half tempted to take them to a real hoedown with live country music and make them line dance till the pass out.  Vampires do NOT glisten in the sunlight.  THEY DIE!  Werewolves do not run around with a pack of guys shirtless in the woods!  That’s just a little weird!  All the mythology that makes those dark characters great have been mocked in Twilight!  I am more of a Harry Potter fan anyhow.  Okay, enough rambling.  It’s time for bed.

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