Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Sweet Potato Campout

Forgive me for being late today. I totally forgot it is Wednesday. We've been digging out from under having the youth from church come to our house for a campout. It was a blast for all of us. The kids came out to East Texas to glean the fields for sweet potatoes. They will take a portion of the sweet potatoes they gleaned to the Garland food pantry. The rest will go to the North Texas Food Bank. Betty Cordell, the event coordinator says you can feed more people and cheaper by gleaning than by any other method. The kids' labor is free and the sacks they put the potatoes in are donated.

It turned out that the field was fairly close to our place so we invited them to spend the day and night. We have a field across the creek that's perfect for camping. We put up a couple of tents and were in business.

I got out all the games and balls and the dart board. Beaven charged up the golf cart. They love the golf cart. Beaven bought it for his Daddy when George went into an assisted living campus and he had a long walk to get to the dining hall. Turns out everybody in places like this have them. After Geoge died years ago it came to stay with us. It's great for getting from one end of the place to another, especially if you're carrying something heavy. The kids love it because it's just about the next best thing to driving a car. And, riding in our fields there's nothing they can hurt and nothing to hurt them. They piled about six kids on the thing, some hanging off the edges. This wears the battery down so next time we'll have a "two at a time" rule.

We even had a campfire. Don't tell the Wood County fire dept. Yes, there's a burn ban. But it was a tame but very picturesque little campfire and I'm sure they didn't mean these kinds of fires were banned. We cleared off a spot and set out buckets of water. And the fire was just magnificent.....not too big but very flame-y and pretty. They roasted marshmallows and had S'Mores.

I had a team volunteer to bake sweet potato pies from what they gleaned. Last time they were here after the gleaning they fried sweet potatoes. I like to do something with what they spent their morning scratching around in the sand for. Kind of connects their work with it's purpose. The pie was delicious and I think everybody loved it.

The next morning they planned a worship service. As they planned and remembered back to confirmation class they kept remembering parts of a worship service. They asked if they could have communion and I had to remind them what they learned in class: that only ordained clergy could offer the sacrament because it was an important act of worship. Thus educated, we decided that they could have "something like communion" in the form of milk and cookies and the words "Remember how much Jesus loves you."

The weather was glorious and after everyone left it started raining and rained until the next day. Kind of like God was waiting just for us.

Beaven and I are leaving tomorrow morning for the gulf coast hurricane disaster area to help with some more houses. This time we're going to Mississippi. Most of the demolition is finished and the work will be either drywall or painting, depending on what the team ahead of us had finished. The camp manager told me New Orleans still has mud and mucking out to do. But the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance works mostly in other areas of the gulf. I'm not sure New Orleans has a recovery plan even now, a year later....

I may be a little late with next Wednesday's posting--we'll be just getting in from Mississippi. Right now I've got to go load the car.

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