New Orleans Mission Trip Day 2

June 23, 2009

We had another great day today! We began at 7:15 am with Orientation with Operations Nehemiah. Following our direction we picked up our assignment for the day. Our assignment which we had found out yesterday was to go to Hope Cemetery, a Pauper’s Cemetery where even before Katrina hit was in poor shape. Our job was to dig a drainage trench, clean out weeds and debris, and clean out another ditch that was for drainage. We had a great lunch with sandwiches from Honey Baked Ham, chips, cookies, and drinks. We were all really refreshed and it helped us continue until our stopping time at 3pm. The students raked, shoveled, hauled, and trimmed. They not only worked hard, but also worked together!

Following our hard work we had some down time until dinner. After cleaning up some stayed in their rooms while others wandered the hotel. Dinner was such a treat since we ate at Acme Oyster House. They had plenty of Oysters, but all kinds of fish, gumbo, shrimp, and even hamburgers! The most fun was watching our boys cheer loudly when the Texas Longhorns would score against the LSU Tigers. This was much to the dismay of our Louisiana friends. Of course in the end we had celebrated too quickly! Thank goodness we were already back at the hotel by then.

We all crowded in a small Ben and Jerry’s and some of us had delicious Ice Cream! We headed back to the Hotel for our evening devotional.

We talked about the idea of God being the potter and we being the clay from Isaiah 64:8. We are people who not only follow Jesus, but have the hands of God placed on us in order for Him to be an artist with our lives. He sits down at the wheel and shapes an ugly lump into a beautiful masterpiece. God doesn’t just simply sit and go to work, but dreams of how he will craft this piece. He dreams of a people that will live in His kingdom now striving for reconciliation, overturning injustice, and reaching with hope and still are able to live for a day when perfection reigns and everything is fulfilled. As we serve this week not only are we being shaped more in His likeness, but the people we come into contact with are being shaped as well and we are growing together through the work of the Holy Spirit to mirror His holiness.

Today we met Nicole. Nicole was walking around the cemetery and Randy approached her. She shared with him that her mother was buried in the cemetery, but she wasn’t sure where. Randy asked us all to halt our work and encouraged us to look for the head stone. We all began to look at every head stone (an unbelievable task). I had a chance to speak with her and 30 years ago when she was three her mother died and soon after her older brother. They are buried together somewhere in Hope Cemetery. Today was the anniversary of her death and through the encouragement of her fiance she came to find the grave. Although we scoured the cemetery we never found the grave. There are way too many and some have been destroyed. Nicole was touched by our generosity and willingness to drop everything to find this grave. I hope you will join us in prayer for Nicole and her family and how God is shaping her story and ours.

Tomorrow we have another adventure and a different project…painting houses. What will be tomorrow’s story?

-Mercer

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2 Responses to “New Orleans Mission Trip Day 2”

  1. Leah said

    Who’s idea was it to get ice cream…Mercer???

  2. Candy said

    Michael – I love that you are blogging and tweeting this trip. You’re very good at this! Sounds like amazing things are happening. You’re all in my prayers!

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