Team Prong (Jimmy Yates, Tammy Wendling, Bella Baker, Logan Blake, Elizabeth Harvey, Sam Sturdivant, Lizzie Whitley)
After a week of virtually no internet access, it’s nice to finally be able to put pen to paper and recap our awesome week.
Each day we left the center by piling in the big 4-wheel drive truck (we needed the POWER). Nice and snuggly in the truck, our trek to Miss Kathy’s house was about a 30 minute adventure and so, we had lots of time to talk, laugh, and SING! And wow did we SING! Mr. Jimmy introduced us to a few new songs that by the end of the week, the kids knew as well as he did.
After the first day of working on band joists, Logan and Elizabeth were given the go-ahead to demo the bathroom. Whew – they made quick business of removing everything in bathroom…right down to the floor joist. They removed the potty, the bath and shower walls, and even the big vanity. Sam and Mr. Jimmy went in to lend a hand with the heavy duty moving.
While the bathroom work continued, we received the word that we would start framing for the underpinning on the trailer. Mr. Jimmy gave us the instructions and the team went to work. Sam dug the bottom trench; Miss Tammy cut rebar; we learned how to use a plumb bob (no idea how to spell that); Lizzie and Bella set the bottom boards and hammered and hammered the rebar. It was a good and productive day.
Then we learned that we would be adding insulation and chicken wire under the trailer. Bella, Lizzie, and Elizabeth started working under the trailer. I’ll stop here to note that the weather made our outside jobs extra “fun”. The rain made squishy, yucky mud. Our little ducks didn’t blink – they went right on about their tasks. Even with the special “duck suits” they were some dirty ducks! The girls met with some challenges in the mutant crickets and humongous tarantula looking spiders. As much as we laughed and cried – I couldn’t have been more proud when more than once I heard, “Remember why we’re here…remember why we’re here.” “God is bigger than that spider…” “I can do this…”
Our week ended on Friday with a delicious lunch prepared by Miss Kathy and wow, what a spread! We had a perfect ASP home-style dinner on an OSB board sitting on two saw-horses. Our bellies were filled with meat loaf, mashed potatoes, fresh green beans and peas, fresh cole slaw, cucumbers, rolls, pea salad, and yummy banana pudding! If that wasn’t perfect enough, Sam pulled out his guitar and played and sang for us. Think about it – sitting in the Kentucky hills (blue skies and green mountains), full as ticks after lunch, listening to some quiet music as the breeze picks up to keep us cool. It doesn’t get much better than that!
There is no explaining to anyone that hasn’t been what it’s like to see our youth seeking to serve others – and God. Bella, Logan, Elizabeth, Sam, and Lizzie were amazing all week – having fun with the chickens (and those rude roosters wrestling with the chickens), feeding the turkeys, sharing heartfelt discussion at our lunch breaks, loving each other – and Miss Kathy, singing happily along the mountain roads (even at the end of the day while sweaty and gross), waiting to potty until we were virtually paralyzed (and enjoying the bumpy ride down the mountain at my expense).
Every year is special and every year is amazing. Team Prong faced some major challenges this week and I’d go right back tomorrow to do it all over again. Love to you all and I pray that you came home ready for another year of serving!