Over and Out.

After two days of traveling, we were able to make it back home safely. After leaving SOS, the team traveled to Nashville, where we had dinner and then were able to explore the Grand Ole Opry hotel. Getting back on the road, we traveled to Bowling Green, KY and stayed the night in a hotel. The next morning, we woke up and traveled to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. It was amazing to see how God’s majesty extends even far below the surface of the earth. After a two hour tour, we got back into the vans and made our way back to Upland.

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Overall, the trip was great! Working together and living life together constantly for ten days causes friendships to form in ways that aren’t otherwise possible. It was wonderful being a part of a team who loved to laugh, loved to learn, and loved to work.

A quick note to the parents of the students on this trip: thank you so much for enabling their participation in this service trip. I know it’s difficult to have your family away from you, especially on Easter. Thank you also for raising diligent children who were able to work so hard on the roofs this week. Roofing is hard work and this team was amazing at it.

And a word to those who offered prayer support throughout this journey: Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! Prayer is a wonderful, powerful tool we are given by the Lord to use and I fully believe this trip would not have been what it was if you hadn’t been praying for us.

Throughout the week, this blog has offered you snapshots of stories about our mission trip to Memphis, Tennessee. Fortunately, there is so much more. In fact, there are 19 sets of stories represented by the members of this team. We’re all still processing the trip and sometimes we need someone to process with. If you could, take the time to hear the stories we have to share. God and His unfathomable grace were at work this week- ask us about it!

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Thanks for reading our blog!

From our hearts to yours,

Team Memphis

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“We are not bringing Christ to poor communities. He has been active in these communities since the creation of the world, sustaining them ‘by His powerful word.'” –When Helping Hurts, p. 60

“You cannot live the way you were meant to as a human being without Jesus Christ”…. “Sometimes we’re tempted to think how God is useful instead of thinking how God is beautiful.” -Thursday night chapel at SOS

“But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” Romans 5:20

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

And we outta here!

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Adios Memphis! The team is on our way to Bowling Green, KY to stay the night at a hotel. We just rolled out of the SOS parking lot. Before leaving, a minor acts of water terrorism ensued. Several shirts did not make it out dry. On our way to KY, we will be stopping in Nashville, TN to eat somewhere. Prayers for same travels please.

Much Love,

Team Memphis

Easter Sunday Team Photo

Easter Sunday Team Photo before church

Dr. King’s Birthday

Fun Fact: Today was the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Jr.’s assignation.

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The team visited the National Civil Rights Museum by happenstance today. The team’s leadership did not plan to visit the museum the same day as the civil right’s leaders’ death. It was packed with individuals from all walks of life mourning the death of Dr. King. To walk through the entire array of exhibits took about 2 ½ hours spanning two separate buildings. Prior to the museum, we had lunch at Central Barbecue. It was very tasty!

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After the museum, we spent time roaming Beale Street. As a result of both Dr. King’s assignation anniversary and a home NBA basketball game, it was a happenin’ place. Soon after, we went to eat at Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken. Finally, we wrapped up the night at Jerry’s Snow Cones. They have soft serve mixed in with the ice from the snow cone and flavoring. A common flavor from the team was Wedding Cake. Tomorrow, we celebrate Easter at SOS, and then embark for Kentucky. Prayers for safe travel!

Much Love

Team Memphis

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Some team members hanging out on Beale Street

Some team members hanging out on Beale Street

 

All is Finished!

As Holy Week peaks with Good Friday and our last day roofing, we reflect on our past week at SOS. Our team finished all six of the assigned projects this week. We roofed in total four houses and got another 2 started. The professionals at SOS will finish shingling the other two houses this coming week. Thank you for the many prayers this week as they were answered. Several times throughout the week it began to rain. All work on the job sites ceased, and a prayer for the rain to stop ensued. Shortly after, the rain let up. This happened three times this week. The team will be bringing back many stories among these likes – where Yahweh answered prayers.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. – Hebrews 11:6 NIVIMG_0997

On Saturday, we will be traveling to the Memphis Civil Rights Museum, which is on the same property as the Lorraine Motel where civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King was shot. The team will be enjoying some classic southern barbecue at Central Barbecue in Memphis for lunch. Dinner will be at Gus’s Fried Chicken. After dinner, we will spend some time walking about downtown Memphis along Beale Street. Easter Sunday will consist of attending church at SOS. In Memphis, there is a network of home churches that meet at SOS a few times out of the year together. Easter Sunday happens to be one of those occasions. Lunch is being graciously provided to the team by the network of home churches. After lunch, we will embark on our journey to Bowling Green, KY. From there, we will be staying at a hotel overnight and enjoying company of the team. Mammoth Cave is near Bowling Green, KY. The team will go to Mammoth Cave on Monday morning. After the excursion to Mammoth Cave, we will venture back to Taylor.

Thank you for your prayers this week, but please keep the safety of all Taylor’s spring break missions teams in your prayers as we begin to head back to Taylor.

Barbecue, Banana Pudding, and Donuts

Today’s activities can be summed up through the foods that we ate today, hence the title.

BARBECUE: Today a neighbor of one of the houses made two of the teams a barbecue lunch. This lunch not only included grilled meats of all kinds, but also a popcorn machine and a snow cone machine. Even though the food was fabulous, the conversation during the meal was what really made the lunch special. We discussed the different gifts that we see in each other and how those gifts not only make up who we are, but they help develop relationships. Getting to hear what other people had to say about each other in a positive light made any frustrations quickly evaporate. It was truly great to get to fellowship over fantastic southern cooking.

Jen and Quynn togetherDavid and Ken togetherIMG_0102Snow cone machine

BANANA PUDDING: Even though the events I will be describing will did not happen during dinner specifically, they happened shortly afterwards. After dinner this evening, we had chapel. We also had chapel on Sunday and Tuesday night. This week our focus during chapel has been on the gospel and how to interpret it. It was insightful and made each of us think. The worship was superb and very real. After a worship song or two and the message, a staff member of SOS came up and opened the floor to those who wanted to speak about what God taught them this week. Once the testimonies were over, we resumed worshipping and chapel ended. After chapel, each team added to and signed a scrapbook for their homeowner(s).

DONUTS: Once the scrapbooks were finished, the entire team from Taylor went with some SOS staff members and interns to a donut shop in town called Gibson’s Donuts. Gibson’s is well known in Memphis as a cheap donut shop that is open late with delicious donuts. While we were at the donut shop we ate donuts and just talked with each other. It was great to spend time together and get to know our team even better.

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PRAYER REQUESTS:

1) No rain

2) Safety

3) The community is impacted by our work and that God’s light be seen in our handiwork.

Thank y’all for all the prayer and support both before and during our trip. We hope you continue to check the blog and enjoy our pictures that are posted.

Love,

Memphis Spring Break Team

Wednesday Update

On our first full day in Memphis (Sunday), the team went to a local coffee shop for breakfast; followed by a nondenominational church near the job sites. Following church, we wondered around Downtown Memphis around Beale Street and Beale Landing. We tried to take a group picture, but we aren’t sure what happen here.

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After our first day working on Monday, we had exposure visits. On these visits, we were invited into members of the community’s homes who live under their means. One group visited the home of a COO of a local clinic and teacher that is in MTR (Memphis Teachers Residency), and the other group visited a member of a local hospital’s administration. Both members of the community live in areas of Memphis that would not be a traditional living area for a financially successful, white male. They view this as a ministry opportunity as a way to preach the gospel and spread the light of Christ among the community by literally loving their neighbors. After a team meeting Monday night, we took the photo below.

A team photo in their memphis shirts

SOS has assigned our team 6 different jobs sites throughout Orange Mound, the second neighborhood (first was Harlem) settled by African-Americans in the US. Our team has split up into 4 groups of 4 members, plus our team leaders distributed to each group. Each group has been assigned to jobs based on their team members skill level and competency. As of Wednesday, two teams have completed their first job and have moved on to their second jobs. One team in particular finished on Monday and were moved onto their second job by the next day. The other team that has completed its first job finished up roofing the remaining section of a home today (Wed.). They will move onto their second job tomorrow (Thursday). Rained caused our day to stop short on Wednesday around 3:30-4 pm.

Much love

Team Memphis

A photo of before (not completely before roofing)

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A photo after completing the job

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