I will continue my narrative from where I left off, being Wednesday evening.
Thursday: After another early rising, mainly because we had to be in the breakfast room by six-thirty (the Church we were at did daycare, so we had to be out-of-the-way by sevenish) the team broke up: Jason took his family, David Candace, and Katie to some of the local community colleges, whilst Caleb led the A-team (namely Himself, Caytie, Nicol, Hannah, Ellen, Charlie, Nick, Chris, and yours truly [these last two were like officials petitioning buddies]) back to USM for another day’s work there. Very interesting experience this time (you can ask me about it in person). After visiting a few of the shopping centres in Gulfport (where I got a new book, just so you know) we called it a day. On the record. Off the record, we still hadn’t made it to the coast (last evening attempt had failed and that miserably). This time, although it weren’t quite so personal, we went with the tried and true method: we drove in the van. The beach (in Boloxi) was desolate, the perfect time to take a tranquil seaside walk, or go wading in what was roughly sixty-five degree water. Ellen, Charlie and I chose the former option, whilst Candace, Caleb, Nicol and David chose the trekked hundreds of yards into the shallows of the Gulf of Mexico.. Charlie wanted to pray together (just the three of us-on the seaside. I love times like that) and after the somewhat chilled waders returned, we once again headed back to the Church. Stayed up late alone….
Friday (the 13th): The team again broke up, the Storms, Candace, Caytie, and Katie (merciful spelling difference) going to one community college, and the…rest going to another (as usual, I hung with Chris). After a few what seemed like almost wasted hours, although we did get a few signatures, we did a lot of running around (always a blessing, as long as you know plenty of good hymns and have plenty of good songs on your iPod) and several unscheduled shopping stops, we met Jason’s group on the beach for
Volleyball! and a seaside sunset (again, good times to talk and fellowship). After that, part of the team went to a high school football game, and then wen tout to eat (seafood, of course) with an old friend of Jason’s. Wonderful time. after that, we went to the…….hotel, in which this fellow and his family was staying, and stayed till about eleven fifteen. The man was a police officer/preacher, so what he had to say was interesting. Afterward, we went back to the Church (where there was, apparently, some late-night youth get together in the gym-we didn’t get involved). Caleb and I had been scheming to put together a small group prayer meeting since the first night at the Church, and as that was our last night together there, we would have been a failure did it not come to fruition (I use failure in its broadest possible sense). However, it wasn’t scheduled to start till 12:15 due to time constraints. At first, it looked like it would just be Caleb and I, the rest of the group being completely wiped out. But Ellen came in, followed later by Nicol, which was a real blessing. I was really reluctant to relate so serious and personal a circumstance as this meeting to you all, but use it to bring glory to the Giver of every good and perfect gift. We decided to remove some of the usual guidelines, like starting with one person and ending with another, and it lasted about an hour and a half. When it drew itself to a close, nobody moved for a while. After a little reading, we retired. We ran into poor Nick upstairs, who was suffering from the seafood, and the four double cheeseburgers he had a little earlier. But by this time, we were well into
Saturday: Went to a Christmas shopping deal at the Civic Centre in Boloxi, where Personhood MS had a booth. We -Meaning Caleb, Chris, Candace, Katie, Nicol, Ellen, Hannah, and Yours truly- were there till about two thirty, and then we left fro New Orleans. After a tour of the city, led by Jason’s dad, our fearless leader took Caleb, Charlie, Nick, Chris, Hannah, Nicol, and yours truly, to Bourbon Street, to preach for a short time. I will write much more on that later: Jason took us to the “safe” part of the street. I was glad to go, though I can say without reserve that it was the most immoral place I have ever been in my life. And half the people there claimed to be Christian’s.
After some fresh air beside the river, and some refreshments in Cafe Du Monde, we rejoined the rest of the team at Jason’s father’s house, and headed back to Jackson (another wonderful Hymn singing time, even though we got lost). Caleb, Nick and I stayed up late again, and retired…
Sunday: Woke up early to leave by eight. My last few hours-precious. We met my brother in Batesville to head home…long goodbyes at the gas station. Then, just to make things more surreal, we went ahead and had lunch with all the young people. That was good while it lasted. The goodbyes were not quite as long, though. Even though good ole Chris almost killed me with a bear hug.
I have been frantically trying to keep up with the team via e-mail. It’s wierd: I am scared to death I may never see some of them again. We must learn to trust the hand of Christ in all things.