I never know what to expect from these trips. They surprise me every time. I'm just back from spending the past five days up in Rutland, Vermont. My youth group [or, at least, 24 of us] went on a service trip there through an missions camp program called YouthWorks. We spent the day doing projects around Rutland in small groups, and the evening with our church talking about the Christian walk. My God is so good, there is so much to tell, but first: have I mentioned lately how much I love my youth group?
My crew is super route seven. Yes, we are so cool we have our own inside jokes and gang signs. [The Chin for the win!]
The soundtrack for the week, Group 1 Crew Family Force 5 B. Reith John Reuben Chris Rice Skillet Grits and the Sweet Action mixes bringing the heat. "You turned off my boom!" Singing House of Heroes and Regina Spektor with Hannah.
Being dubbed "Ukulele" by Caleb the first day. And Hannah's gangsta name is "Wondabread who could." Cos Caleb is win at nicknames.
Repeatedly resisting the temptation to text the two people whose numbers I actually have memorized and keeping a running list of "I have to tell you . . ."
Not showering in the morning, and managing to not die. Bandanas for the win. Rolling out of bed and being ready for the day in five minutes is wonderfully strange.
Learning how to dice a tomato, prepping for Taco Tuesday, talking to Amanda about the evils of milk, vegetarian to would-be-vegetarian about vegans while swiping Oreos.
Dance parties! Awkward bathroom dance parties, awkward hallway dance parties, awkward car ride dance parties, and the rock-out-kitchen-clean-up-crew dance party. Michael leading the way, prompting, "Why is Michael so embarrassing?"
Feeling uncomfortable and creating drama due to the poor kid who kept harassing girls from other churches. "No purple! Just don't touch me, man!" and "Um, he bought me earrings?"
The Rutland County Parent Child Center and the Open Door Mission - best work sites ever! Painting ourselves into carpal tunnel syndrome, cutting cakes, organizing books, and color-coding pants into shades of grey, champagne, tan, and khaki.
Worshiping God from the top of a mountain just never gets old. Climbing back down, however . . . an exercise in faith.
Eating Ben & Jerry's ice cream and managing to amass a tip for the poor guy who served over forty people completely solo.
Hannah and Ashley have sick rhyming skillz [that almost rival Gangsta K's dope beats.] "It's pizza Wednesday, now don't say ew!" and "Don't you wish your youth pastor was hot like mine?"
Being "THAT church," the big and loud and enthusiastic church. Being a truly cohesive group, truly loving each and every individual, and having mandatory hug time not once, but twice!
And wondering as the tears flow, why is it that we feel the most complete when we're smashed into tiny pieces?
I mention all the silly and entertaining and little things, because the blogosphere can't handle the stories of what God did in the community of Rutland and in our youth group and in my heart. Not right now. Not when I'm two hours fresh from the car ride and melting in the summer heat and seeing double from fatigue. It would be sacrilege. But God did big things, and I need to praise Him for them. But for now I praise Him for the small and amusing things.
My heart is just so impossibly full, God is so good.