Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Reflections in New Orleans

I am finally started to get rested up from our senior high mission trip to New Orleans...it takes longer and longer to do so the older I get...man, what a great week!...I couldn't have been more proud of our crew (Drake, Art, Trevor, Jen, Lauren, Brittany, Emily, Taylor, Christine, Julianna, Paige, Caitlin, Kelsey, Karen, and Marcy)...they worked hard, were excellent examples for the people we ministered with as well as for the other youth groups that were there...it was especially rewarding to see the growth that occurred in each of them as the week wore on...the hope and prayer is that they will be able to make the mountaintop experience last as they come down off of the mountain...a few reflections on the week about random stuff:
  • Our kids dealt with disappointment much better than I did...I found myself getting disappointed with such non-important stuff...I was really excited about the possibility of working with the people at ARC, which was a center for people with mental disabilities, but I found out that I would be working at Teen Challenge instead...it turned out really well, as we were ministered to probably more than the Teen Challenge residents were (and not just because we ate really well - Strawberry Shortcake Sneaux Balls!)...but the point is, our youth accepted whatever assignment they were given without even the slightest hint of disappointment...they didn't even complain about the VW-sized roaches - they just killed them and went on...they taught me a thing or two about contentment...
  • I found that as the week went on, I was becoming more OK with being sweaty and sticky...if you know me, you know I like to be clean and I hate sweating (unless I'm exercising or mowing, etc.), which makes New Orleans a bad place to be...you can't avoid feeling gross there...but as the week progressed, it wasn't as big of a deal...it was still a deal, but not as big of one...living in Cape Girardeau is not a lot different that New Orleans, so this is a step in the right direction...
  • As we toured the French Quarter, we came across a basilica that the Pope had preached from in the 80s...we all stood in front of it and had our pictures taken while I waved like the Pope...the interesting thing about this was the number of psychics/fortunetellers/palmreaders/etc. that were set up right outside the front doors of the basilica...it was like Obi Wan Kenobi squaring off against Darth Vader, the ultimate in light standing toe-to-toe with the ultimate in dark...I don't have any conclusions, just the observation...
  • I simply lost my mind last week...along with everything else...every time I turned around, I had misplaced something else...my water bottle, my coffee cup, my man purse, my notebook, whatever...I spent half of my time on the trip looking for stuff...man, I really am getting old...
  • The cockroaches in New Orleans were quite impressive, as alluded to above...I killed two of them...I think I caught them off-guard, because on a normal day, I don't think I stood a chance...
  • Yummy beignets at the Cafe du Monde...apparently, it is the world-famous coffee joint in the French Quarter that has these French donuts called Beignets...essentially, it was the same thing as a funnel cake but in a different shape with LOTS of powdered sugar...it was yummy, but I don't know about world-famous...
  • We visited an African-American church for a worship service on Wednesday night...it was a great, energetic service...before the service started, we came in and had a seat while they were praying...but then, when the actual service got started, an usher came to us and ushered us into the balconies to make room for the regulars, I presume...it felt a little weird...I wondered if it was how the black individuals felt decades ago when they were banished to the backs of buses or to a different restaurant altogether...I am not likening this church to those that promoted segregation...it just felt a little strange...the Pastor, Lester Love, had a great line that I wrote down...when speaking about being treated badly by people, he said, as if speaking to God, "They have not been as bad to me as You have been good to me."...nice...

This is probably not what you expected from my summary of New Orleans...we did the usual stuff: French Quarter, trolley ride, hike through the bayou...but these are the things I wrote down...go figure...

4 comments:

Paige P. said...

Fitz,
Wow, that quote from Rev. Love is the same one that stuck in my mind and that I have been using! Too cool. It was an awesome trip wasn't it! I'm so glad I went!

matt said...

Hiya Fitz,
Its been a while, my friend. But here I am, after quite a long absence, working another Saturday night wedding reception in the ole Student Center at ATS. Seems to be the only place I make time to blog. But I read this quote and remembered why I like you so much "I simply lost my mind last week...along with everything else...every time I turned around, I had misplaced something else...my man purse... spent half of my time on the trip looking for stuff..." "Man Purse"? Thanks for a GREAT mental picture and a fun laugh. Tell your wife hey for me.

Anonymous said...

The Youthgroup should be called: "Kevin"

shelby said...

hey fitz u really need to ^ date really bad wellthats all bye