The White Pages

Mission trip… August 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — perfectlywhite @ 5:00 pm

Mission Trip rundown…

On the middle school trip, we had 7 students go.  We left Friday afternoon and made our way to Chaska (southwest corner of Minneapolis) to stay at Valley Free Church – where a friend of mine is the youth pastor there.  On Saturday we woke up and went into downtown Minneapolis to serve lunch at the House of Charity.  This was the first experience for the whole group to serve others in this way.  It was really neat to see how a group of 7th and 8th graders took on the challenge of doing something they’ve never done before!  Not only was it their first experience serving, it was their first experience with anyone experiencing homelessness.  To hear some of the questions surrounding that, was an awesome reminder that middle school students ask some of the best questions.

The students were then posed the challenge of grocery shopping as a team.  The two teams were given a budget, a menu, and a time limit of 20 minutes.  Both came back in 15 minutes with about $10 to spare.  The meals were a little shaky, but that’s alright.  Challenge complete.  We then made our way to Feed My Starving Children to bag food.  The way this place operates is you come in, there are stations set up with buckets of dehydrated food.  In your station you load up the different components of the meals (6 meals per bag; 36 bags per box; lots of boxes per pallet :).  In the two hours we were there, our group bagged over 5000 meals! 7 students + 3 leaders = 5000+ meals made –> to be delivered to Haiti.  Pretty Cool.

On Sunday, we spent time together and had a fun day at Valley Fair.

This was my first time getting to spend a significant amount of time with the middle schoolers in our group, and I had a blast.  We can learn a lot through/from that age group.  The questions they ask, the things they say are incredibly unguarded, and they are very good at saying what’s on their minds.

(Photos to come later.)


June…of a Coldwater variety

Filed under: Uncategorized — perfectlywhite @ 4:11 pm

Apparently, it has slipped my mind to talk about what actually makes a Coldwater trip a Coldwater trip.  So, without further delay…

What do we do on a Coldwater trip?  The objective of a Coldwater instructor, when leading a trip, is to facilitate growing experiences for the participating students.  Pre-trip the two instructors try and map out something teachable, the kind of thing that if a mother asked her student “what did you do/learn?” He/she would say something like, “I learned the importance of…(caring for God’s creation, loving my neighbor as myself, what it means to be a servant leader, etc.)”.  In two of the trips I have led the teaching points were “servant leadership” and “being a man who dwells and delights in the Word”.

The role of the instructors is first, to aid in group development by leading activities that require cooperation, trust, and problem-solving between group members.  Typically, this is done before going “into the woods”.  The hope/goal is that there is a foundation for the group to build on when problems and hard things come up throughout the trip the group members will be able to pull through together.    Second, the instructors must find the fine balance of trying to work too many external challenges into the trip, and letting the wilderness provide its own challenges.  Third, the instructors are responsible for the safety of the group, as would be expected.

Above is a little bit of what happens on a Coldwater trip; now, why do a Coldwater trip? (C.S. Lewis, paraphrase) We have gone to great lengths in our society to eliminate challenges, hard things.  We tend to go out of our way to make things as easy as possible – continually looking for the “easy button”, on a Coldwater trip, there is no “easy button”, whatever comes up each person must take head-on.  That is not to say that trips are made to be impossible where the only option is failure.  Trips are set up with the hope that each member experiences “feelings of accomplishment” and success.  But, we welcome failure, and what failure can teach us.  If everything was easy would we ever learn anything?  If we succeeded at everything we did would we grow?  By experiencing failure, we learn how we can improve, what things we can change that might affect the outcome.  We learn that we’re not invincible; we experience what it means to be human, and that we must live humbly…