If Only #sol16 Day 31

I have been planning for 31 days to write a reflection about this process, but I have something better to write about, so I’ll save that for my next post.

Today our kids gave up some of their spring break to help those in need.  Our seniors took the morning shift working on houses in the 9th Ward with Youth Rebuilding New Orleans.  Even though I wasn’t with that group, I rode out there to help transport all the kids.  I’m glad I did.  I was able to meet the organizers, hear a little about the organization, and see some of the work they’ve done so far.  I’ve spoken with a few of the kids since they returned, and they really seemed to enjoy their experience.

The juniors had the morning to relax and explore a little bit, and then we headed over to the New Orleans Mission to meet Daniel Watts, the Outreach Coordinator.  Our original project was with a different group, but that was canceled randomly and quickly.  So, the trip planner managed to get this together for today.  And, once again, I’m glad.

We talked with the kids–many of whom have particpated in this sort of thing before–about decorum while there.  We really didn’t know what we were doing until we got there and met Daniel.  He led us into the mission, which is currently under construction.  It was hot.  The kind of hot you can only understand if you’ve experierenced the south without air conditioning.  Not a child complained.  They sat patiently awaiting their instructions from our guide.

We recieved our mission:  make sandwiches, pack them with drinks and snacks, and prepare to wheel them out to the community. After a little organzing, the kids got to work.  They laughed, they joked, they smiled, and they were pretty productive.

We then loaded the bags into carts, and Daniel led us to a median on a semi-busy road where we handed out bags to the homeless, elderly, and disabled (or anyone who came by).  Being an outreach program, Daniel prayed with the folks who came by, and spent some time sharing his testimony with our group.

This being an IB trip, our group is very diverse.  Just with this group of 12, we had at least one Muslim, one Jew, and potentially other religions that I’m not sure about.  But what I love about these kids is that when he wanted us all to pray, they held hands, stood in the cricle and bowed their heads with the rest of the group. On the way back, I said to two of the students on the way back, “thanks for being so cool about praying and his testimony.” Our Muslim student responded with,

I didn’t mind. I find it really interesting.

How awesome. How smart.  If only all of us in the world could have that attitude; imagine how much happier the world would be.  The other students agreed, and we had a fabulous conversation about how tolerant, curious, and compassionate this group of students is.

It’s been a long week, with its ups and downs, but I’m thankful for today and for the opportunity to see these kids be good humans and know that there is some hope for the future. πŸ™‚


9 thoughts on “If Only #sol16 Day 31

  1. Touched with tears in my eyes, I realize that your students represent hope for the future. Kudos to you. Kudos to them. Just think you were a bit worried about this trip. In the end, that moment makes it all worthwhile. Tolerance and openness. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a good feeling to know that we leave the future in the hands of students who seem to have their priorities straight! I have enjoyed your trip to New Orleans along with you and want you to know how proud I am of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a blessing!
    In 2009, I was blessed to be in NOLA with the National Lutheran Youth gathering. Our group’s mission assignment was mowing the lawns of still-abandoned homes so that the owners wouldn’t be fined. It was hard, beautiful, hot, important work — and it changed us all.
    I love hearing stories of youth making a difference.
    They truly are our future!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like your students have really had a great time. Love the idea of a service project. My daughter will be heading to New Orleans in July for a youth gathering that will include a service project also. Thanks for writing about this as now I have a little bit of an idea of what might be available to her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I can even give you a contact with Daniel if they’re interested. Youth Rebuilding seemed really cool too. They actually try to get the houses to teachers, because the believe in the cycle of teachers giving to the community, so the community gives to them, etc. Great opportunities! πŸ™‚


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s