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!
Top Gear Day Four was “racing for all the marbles.”
All the racing we did today was for Amazon gift cards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places So, to start the day right everyone needed good energy. We had breakfast from Art’s bagels to give us the right fuel to make it through the day.
After a quick breakfast, we quickly went over the rules and laid out the brackets for our racing tournaments. There would be a Formula 1 bracket, a Gran Turismo Prototype Bracket, and Carrera Digital 124 Slot car bracket. Then we started playing our way through the brackets. One of the best moments was Thomas racing Isaac with the finish line in sight, Thomas somehow did a 180 turn in the middle of final straightaway, Isaac runs into Thomas (and spun him around more), and wins the race. It was one of the craziest moments on the track. Nick Henderson was tops in Gran Turismo Prototype racing, and Connor McArdle won the Formula 1 racing.
The racing on the “big track” with the Carrera Digital 124 Slot Cars was very heated and exciting. The chants “Ronnie, Ronnie” rang throughout the room. Once again guys raced in their brackets to advance. The Final Four came down to Ronnie Piepmeier, Kyle Pierre, Jake Watson, and Nick Henderson. Three of those four guys having the fastest times the entire week. Nick Henderson pulled out an impressive victory and the overall fastest 1 lap of the entire week.
We finished the day with an impromptu race at Daytona on the PS3. Daniel Clark won the tournament and gift cards to Andretti’s.
Tomorrow is our service project by doing oil changes, maintenance, and car detailing for some of the ladies on staff at NCCS.
Thursday morning was our service project. We were up and on the road by 7:30 to go work with Second Harvest, the major food bank in Nashville. They had us work in the refrigerator section, sorting and packaging food. Boy was it cold! The boys had to run into the freezer occasionally and it was -18 degrees. But everyone had a great attitude and sang and danced through most of the morning. 🙂
Today we fought many hardships as we packaged up food. Using our ingenuity and teamwork we succeeded in successfully packing upwards of 5,000lbs of food! We were able to do this only through two things: perseverance and determination. I personally was able to bond emotionally with my fellow team members and hopefully the good we did today will show the true love of Jesus.
– Sam grenier, senior
Packaging all of that food made us hungry, so we headed over to the Nashville Farmers market. While there weren’t many stands open outside due to projected inclement weather, inside there was a wonderful array of shops. From Southeast Asian Pho to sweet and savory Crépes, there was something there for everyone. Most of us were able to get something from several booths.
– Natalie Cooper, junior
There were very severe storms projected for Nashville on Thursday. Schools even let out early and a few closed for the entire day. But God is so good and we had things to do! We only ended up getting a small shower late in the evening.
In the afternoon, we visited the Country Music Hall of Fame, which showed true country artists leading up to today’s country music. It also showed all the country artists from their outfits to the awards they won. Then, there was a room called Will the Circle be Unbroken showing all the artists from the 1900’s to now. I thought the Country Music Hall of Fame was pretty cool! 🙂
– Sydney Barnes, junior.
After a quick rest, some of the students headed out to go to Pharmacy Burgers and to Belmont to see 9-5: The Musical.
On the eve of our departure, a few of us had the opportunity to see ‘9 to 5 the musical’ at Belmont University. Ten students, accompanied by Mrs. Wallace and Mr. Hendrix, laughed until our stomachs hurt and became thoroughly invested in the lives of Dodie, Violet, and Judy. The show was beautifully executed by the performers and technicians alike and we are certainly very thankful that we were able to witness such a beautiful production.
-Brianna Daly, sophomore
Those of us who stayed and rested more, got a quick bite to eat at Chick fil-a or Cookout.
On Friday morning, we just had to go to the Escape Room one more time before we left. Two of the three groups were successful this time. Everyone was able to get a t-shirt from the escape room and then we headed home! A little traffic and a quick bite on the road, and we were back at NCCS! Tired, full, and blessed to be part of such a great group!
Over the week in Spring Term ATL we were able to do many things to further the kingdom of God. Today specifically though, we were able to serve with an organization called Books For Africa. This organization partners with communities in Africa to be able to provide books and educational tools for the children in African countries. Whil at Books for Africa we sorted, stacked, and packed the books to be shipped off overseas and help a child in need. After this we went off to eat some tasty pizza, and play some paintball. Which, as someone who had never played before, there was a learning experience but I would definitely love to play it again and would recommend it to anyone.
As the week comes to a close, looking back on everything that I have experienced this week, one of the biggest things that impacted me was Wednesday when we went to 7 Bridges and served food to the homeless. The reason why this impacted so much was because it opened up my eyes to the situations which the homeless are living in, in Atlanta. When we were under the bridge I was thinking about how dangerous it was, how nasty it was walking over feces, and how bad my head felt from the pollen. But then I started thinking about how the homeless people have to live all the time scared of sliding off, having to live in their own waste, and not being able to go home to a nice home escaping the pollen/weather. Overall though, it was an incredible week with an awesome group and amazing leaders.
Matthew Brown, Junior