Today was our last day as a spring term family for 2017. We began our morning with a devo on “the least of these.” We focused on the attribute of having a cheerful and giving spirit. When we left the school we traveled five minutes down Hwy 41 to “Hearts of Faith Thrift Store” where we met Mrs. Sandra and her husband Mr. Mamo who own the store. Mrs. Sandra shared her testimony with the students before we got started with our service projects. She shared with us the story of how she was raised by her grandmother but after a short time she was forced to move back in with her mother who was very abusive to her. The abuse led her to run away from her home becoming homeless. Unfortunately she couldn’t run back to her grandmother because she lived in Mexico. Mrs. Sandra’s story from abuse to homelessness to standing on her own two feet and eventually with a college education and owning two businesses, she gives glory to God for and thanks Jesus everyday for loving her they way he has done and continues to do. The students were fascinated by her story and asked her many questions. At the thrift store she also runs a tutoring program for low income families. She also ministers to the homeless population providing them with clothes and other essential needs. She is always looking for help tutoring in the afternoons and playing with the kids ranging from four year olds to 13 year olds. After Mrs. Sandra shared, the students took on two large tasks. One task was helping organize the back storage area and classroom area for the tutoring program. The other task was painting all the graffiti on the outer walls behind the store. The students jumped right in with at cheerful attitude doing a superb job to say the least. Job well done guys! After “Hearts of Faith” we went to Big Pie in the Sky for lunch. Each student got their own giant slice of pizza. When we finished at Big Pie we finished our day at Sparkles with laser tag, roller skating, and arcade games. Laser tag was the big hit of our time at Sparkles. We had a fantastic day! This concluded our spring term once we left and arrived back at the school at 4:00. The students had a great day and an overall great week! Have a great Spring Break! It was a pleasure spending this time with the students!
Day 3 turned out to be one of the most exciting, exhilarating experiences we’ve had all week. Our day began with a devotional on Gideon’s Army and going to war with only 300 men. Though he had a small group he was able to overtake a much larger army without having to lift his sword. God gives us the strength we need in times where we seem to be the weakest. After our devo we played a couple of team building games in the student life office before we took the long journey to POP Bubble Tea right around the corner to talk to Mr. Earp (NCCS Parent of Elizabeth Earp, Freshman) about how he got his business started and how bubble tea was made. Everyone tried all different flavors of bubble tea with popping pearls and tapioca. After POP Bubble we jumped on I-575 to Canton where we played paintball at the NITRO Paintball facility. After an hour of pelting each other with paintballs we paused for a lunch break. The staff at NITRO provided us with a hotdog lunch with chips and a drink. After lunch we went right back out into the field and played more paintball. After three and a half hours of doing battle with each other on the paintball field we got back on the bus tired and worn out. We all had a blast and it was an amazing experience for those who had played before and for those who played for the first time!
Today was quite the intense adventure. After Mrs. Poplin shared a devotional with us on escaping temptation, we began our day of adventure faced with a challenge. After dividing into two teams we were faced with the task of escaping the almost impossible “Escape Woods.” (https://www.escapewoods.com/) Team one took on “the Dig” first. A winding maze through the woods with the goal of finding and escaping the maze with the coveted early 1800’s golden amulet. Within the maze they had to find keys to open safes, clues to find codes for doors, and ultimately not run into any dead ends so they could accomplish this difficult task. Team two went into the abandoned fallout shelter called “the Bunker.” In the bunker the team was tasked with finding the alien specimen and getting out of the dark cold cave like rooms before the “FBI” returned and captured them. Supplied with flash lights and intuition the team went down deep into the bunker finding clues to get through different rooms eventually finding the alien artifact. Both teams attempted each escape as they were given an hour to accomplish the task. Only team two was successful at both, but were challenged escaping the bunker with only three seconds remaining on the clock. After Escape Woods we took a journey down to the Stone Mountain area stopping at Zaxby’s to each lunch before continuing our adventures at Yellow River Game Ranch. At YRGR the students were able to see and feed all sorts of animals. Black bear, bison, llama, pigs, chickens, goats, burros, pheasant, fox, deer, turkey to name a few of the animals they were able to experience. Get ready for an exciting day three! Paintball Paintball Paintball with a little POP bubble tea!
What a day! When students tell you how great a time they had without having to ask if they enjoyed their day, then you know it was a good day!
We started our day with a devotional on Elijah lighting a fire (1 Kings 18). We then ventured up to Red Top Mountain State Park and had a day full of exploration and adventure. We played in the creek finding crawfish, salamanders, and bugs. The students loved getting in the creek just to get their feet wet. We walked through the woods flipping logs and rocks to see what kind of “critters” lived underneath. We picked up worms, insects, and even found more salamanders. Rylee Tate found the smallest turtle any of us, including our amazing park ranger, Hannah, had ever seen. It was literally the size of a quarter.
After our tromp through the woods and wade in the creek everyone started a fire using a cotton ball, vaseline, and a magnesium fire starter. They were all successful starting their fires and tarted two cooking fires for lunch. The students packed their tin-foil pouches with hamburger, potatoes, carrots, and onions. Some added a little shredded cheddar cheese and Lawry’s seasoning salt. We closed the pouches and through them in the fire to cook. Fifteen minutes later we had some of the best campfire food you ever tasted! Then we had dessert. Some chose the traditional s’mores. Others chose the more challenging dessert by cutting an orange open and putting a cinnamon roll in and covered it with tin-foil then through it in the fire to cook. Then they unwrapped the gooey goodness inside the orange added the icing and voila!
Once we got everything cleaned up, we finished our day by cleaning up the outdoor classroom and filling up all the bird feeders. The students raved about the food and the fun all the way home. Looking forward to day two!