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Memphis 2019 – Cleaning and Teaching

Eating is very important to this team. We had breakfast at the house then we got donuts 20 minutes later. Not just one donut but a dozen…per person. (Kidding) The donut shop was called Gibson’s Donuts. We did not buy any shirts even though Emma really wanted to buy one.


When we were fully fed we went to Harding Academy where Mrs. Gonder used to work. Not only did we do some work but we met up with an old pal who used to go to Valor!

We participated in their chapel time. It was interesting to see the difference between their chapel and Valor’s chapel. Their chapel did not include worship time…that is personally my favorite part of chapel.

The chapel today was about Thankfulness. I have been talking about thankfulness every day this week because here in Memphis we have met some of the most thankful people in the world. With as little as they have, they are so very grateful. It really makes you realize how thankful you should be and why you should thank God and everyone in your life a lot more.

After chapel, we all did some service work outside by helping them clean up their courtyard where they are beginning a community garden! They had a ground-up stump that we took in wheelbarrows to their new compost pile.

We then cleaned up trash around the surrounding of the school. The trash was very interesting. We found pants, boogers, empty bottles and cans, cans with living creatures in them, a moss bottle, an unopened ring pop that had been evaporated (the sun).

Lots of the kids stared at us because we didn’t have uniforms. Once we felt like the job was well done, we got in Honky Tonk and Betsy (our car names) and went to lunch. We had lunch at the boys’ house — sandwiches and a lot of banana pudding! We were very content.

We split into our groups to practice our VBS for Boys and Girls club, which we needed to do! We also performed/practiced in front of each other to make sure we knew what we were doing – many had to redirect.

A couple of hours later we went to Boys and Girls club. We broke up into groups for VBS time – 4 different age groups. Each group prepared a lesson and an activity for their group. My partners and I (AJ and Kirsten) were kind of intimidated because we were placed with the middle schoolers. Some of these kids were the same age as us and taller than all of us.

We are used to working with little kids, so this was a new experience for all of us. The teams that had the younger age groups learned more about having fun while keeping the group contained when we learned to not be fearful or intimidated by kids who are able to relate to us. 

Our lesson was about trust and I have come to realize that we should have been more trusting with where God placed us for the VBS because we all had a great time and it was our favorite part of the day. We loved getting to hear what the kids thought about trusting God and why he is worthy of trust.

We also learned that our struggles and fears are similar but also quite different. The boys and girls club kids shared how they trust God for safety from violence, a roof over their head and living to the next day. They were sobering thoughts as they all shared openly and honestly.

After VBS, we went back to the girls’ house for dinner – taco night! Jared learned what a taco was! (He had never had one…) Once dinner was over, we presented in our groups what events we will be doing for Children’s Hospital and had a lot of laughs from that.

We put on the VBS skits for our hosts and had them join in on a sing along complete with costumes! Afterward, we played LEFT RIGHT CENTER And Brooke won! We loved learning the games and our host was so gracious to teach us how to play. Overall, it was a very eventful day and it was a lot of fun!

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