17 to 18

17 to 18

Friday, June 9, 2017

Sorry folks for not keeping the blog up-to-date these past couple days, we have been very busy here at Back Bay! On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen. Those of us who went made breakfast and lunch for the people in need and got to interact with them as we served them their food. We were also to sit and chat with the people there including some families with children. They were positive and friendly, and it was very rewarding to hear them share with us how grateful they were for our help. Meanwhile, work was started at a new site with tearing down siding and putting up new wood sheeting. After a long day of work, we spent the evening attending a Baptist service where they were very kind and inviting to all of us. We shared with them one of our favorite Christian songs, and after the service they shared a meal they made for us. Today, we were all able to experience something amazing- being able to welcome a family to their new home! After finishing their home this morning, the family was invited over, and we got to see their reaction to their home. The family was so grateful and so thankful for our help, and it was great to see how much our hard work had impacted them. I loved hearing from the family about their past. They were such caring people and so deserving of their new home. The woman who owned the house had done such great things for so many people, and she told us how this house was a reward from God for all of the good she had done in the past. After the welcome-home celebration, some of us were able to move another family into their new home as well through the Home At Last program. We moved furniture in for them, and it was great to know the family would have a place of their own. -Taylor -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Today, the second day of work in Biloxi, I spent the day working on the house. I woke up at 6:47 and was ready to go by 6:50. After a wonderful breakfast of pancakes, we headed to the work site. I began and ended my day of work with a paintbrush in hand. In the morning, Gretchen and I worked around the house touching up all the enamel paint. When we would think we had it all, something else wold need to get touched up. Along with touching up the paint, I caulked around the house and caulking became my favorite, I did it the majority of the day. When lunch time rolled around, I had a delicious turkey and cheese sandwich with a bag of chips. When time to get back to work I resumed painting and caulking. When all the touch up and caulking was complete, Gretchen and I took on the project of fixing the exterior paint in the car port of the house. This job concluding or day. Working at Back Bay has given me an appreciation for what I have and a will to work hard for the families we are striving to help. ( Crazy Diamond) Kylee------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Today, I woke up earlier than the rest of the crew to help make breakfast, and I flipped pancakes for the first time in my life. But this has just been one of many firsts on this trip. I went to the job site today to work on the house for a short part of my morning. I probably raked more leaves this morning alone than I ever have before! After that, a small group of us had the opportunity go to the food pantry. I helped sort a new food order, and I got to meet the people who help run the pantry. Lois and Bill were two of the nicest people I have ever met, and I learned all about the impact service has made in their lives. After sorting pudding, rice, and lots of cans of Chef Boyardee, my group went over to the Micah Center to eat lunch with the people who volunteer there and the people who use their services. The lunch was nice, but the people were even nicer! I look forward to rest of the trip and the many other "firsts" it will bring! Also, shout-out to my mom. (Icebreaker Email) Claire A. -----------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, June 5, 2017

Biloxi Day 1 28th Street

My first day of work on this trip was nothing as I expected it to be. The forecast called for scattered rain, but fortunately for us, there was not a drop that fell from the sky. I was expecting to walk in having no clue what I was doing and fearing doing something wrong. It turns out that that was not the case at all. It was exciting to be a part of a big group whose goal is to make another person's life better and safer. I look forward to the rest of the week and can't wait to see the improvements we will make in such a short period of time. In just one day, we cleaned up an entire backyard, repainted all of the doors, and installed shelves. The hard work each person was individually contributing was inspirational and made me want to work harder and do more. I felt part of the entire group and didn't feel as if I was just a young high school student who would be treated like a child. (Hellcat Air Zone) Claire H. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- My first day at Back Bay Mission, I visited the Micah Center and worked there and connected with the people for a few hours. This was an incredible experience for me because I had never seen something like this before and the people I was working with were wonderful. Kylee and I were overwhelmed with the work that these people do at the Micah Center and are eager to go back. After this, we went to one of the houses where I painted doors and worked on interior areas of the house. This was hard work but a great team work experience. The people I am working with are wonderful and I am very happy to be here. ------------------ (Shadowboxer) Fiona G. ------------------------------------------------------------ My parents would be really proud that I made scrambled eggs today. At 6 am, i was already learning new things 10 hours away. The day started off by waking up early to make breakfast or everyone (it was delicious by the way). At 8 am, we piled in the cars and got a nice view of the city as we drove to the work site. The house was in "the ghetto"...I wouldn't have called it that though. The house was a lot nicer than I thought it would be. The Back Bay Mission has been doing a good job :) . We were mostly working on the finishing touches of the house such as yard work, painting, installing appliances, etc. After only a few minutes of yard work, I got called over to the chop saw, and then was there for the rest of the day. Because of all my work today with the tool, I consider myself a chop saw master. I helped install all of the trim in the house today and am looking forward to what I'll be doing tomorrow. (Brooklyn Side) Sarah B. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Today was my first day of volunteering at Back Bay Mission. I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had helping out at the food pantry. My morning consisted of helping stock the food pantry and helping clients shop. It was interesting to get to talk to some of the clients and hear about their families. Every person had a different type of family and I was excited to be able to help them in getting food for their families. I carried groceries to the clients cars and every single one thanked me before leaving. This simple "thank you" made my day especially great. I am excited to continue my volunteering for the rest of the week. (Rubangakene) Caroline F. --------------------------------------------------------

Sunday, June 4, 2017

17 to 18...The picture becomes clearer.

I do not quite know how I deserve the grace I felt tonight. We had a good dinner, food was bought, 44 cases of water stacked at the front porch, we are ready to do our best tomorrow. Last year, for fun we put a kid in the hot seat, and several of the dads asked stupid or silly questions, and we got to see the smiles and learn a little bit about each new student. Caroline "Rubangakene" was picked first this year, and as we were preparing silly questions it was interrupted. Mr. Tim Milford, Biloxi dad all-star, had just driven 10 hours, almost all of it through rain by himself to join our team. The students who know Mr. Milford and have spent several of these weeks with him over the years rose to their feet and greeted him. How can you not love him, he greets each job with a smile and each new person with a warm laugh. He and his wonderful wife, Rita are simply selfless. but this is a story about 17 year olds.--------------------------------------------------------------------------- After we made plans and made lunches for tomorrow, a bunch of old men and good friends went were old men go --to the front porch and rocking chairs. We soon decided to get back to silly questions and we called Taylor "Spin" to join us on the porch for questions. Hayley "Beanie" not trusting the humor of Mr. Magee or her dad, joined her outside for moral support. The silly questions ended and we soon got into serious questions about helping people. People not just on the margins, but way past the margins. How do you fight the unwinnable fight? When that unwinnable fight is a real person, doing their best just to survive. I spent a month in Uganda last year with Hayley and really was amazed at all that she did, I introduced my Uganda friends and my favorite country to her. But here she was talking about our world and a woman she had met with an awful wound and a troubled mind. We just sat and listened. Listened to a kid (not really a kid anymore) tell us about how she processed her own doubts and how she was troubled that she could not do more. Beanie started this trip as a pint-size sophomore and has been sharing kindness with us ever since. It was neat the Taylor got to hear all of this and take it in and then tell us a little bit about herself. On this wonderful porch, we welcomed a 17 year old into our community. I cannot wait to see what she will do. I am so proud of her already and the trip has not even started.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Taylor and Hayley left us and we cajoled Kamryn into joining us. Kamryn "5-speed" brought Liza "Small boat" as her muscle. They were apprehensive as they wandered out having no idea that the entire mood had changed into just talking. These two chose to pass up Graduation parties, concerts, and swimming pools so they could return to Biloxi. They chose to spend another week doing their best for our friends on the Gulf Coast. Maybe it was Sam and Megan or Mary Grace or one of the other superstars who helped them last year. But here these two were and we listened again. It was just a joy to talk about running, and Russia, and a grandfather who had just passed. They were and are amazing, but there is a polish to their words and a realness to their kindness that is a little different than a 17 year old. And here is where the grace happens. Taking all of this in...all of the love and support that they received from parents and grandparents and teachers and....two 18 year olds ready for college, ready for this week with an eagerness and love that made a pleasant night on a Biloxi rocking chair an amazing night. Parents when you are reading this-->Thank you. I know John and Marci Kuehner and it makes perfect sense how Hayley became Hayley, but hearing her words made us all listen. And made us all very proud. I get to spend the next week watching silly 17 year olds become compassionate and determined 18 year olds ... willing to do anything for anybody, learning to make a community that God himself would recognize. ----------------------------------------------- 10 hours is a long time in a car, and as I finish the first post, 26 amazing people are in bed and a song from the long trip rattles in my head. Five for fighting is singing "If God made you, he is in love with me." The "you" tonight was Hayley (who has been 18 for several trips) and Taylor and Kamryn and Liza but it could have easily been Tim Milford, or Maggie, or Gretchen or Megan. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Goodnight, John Magee

Friday, June 2, 2017

A new year, new faces.... Kinship so much you can see it.

At our best we hope to come close to the words that Father Boyle delivered to the students of Notre Dame. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eQsHEjfRrY Our Shirts which I will pick up in an hour say this on the back. Kinship:/kin Ship/ noun – Seeking and Living the Compassion to obliterate the margins between us and them. Serving and Loving until there is Just Us. A Simple goal, we will strive to find that compassion. Keep us in your prayers. John Magee

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Porter: Day 4

Today was my first time working at the house on Porter. We started out by sanding the bathroom ceiling which was very difficult but I had a lot of fun doing it with everyone. Next we put sliding doors on the closest in the bedroom which took a while but turned out great once it was completed. We all felt so accomplished. The people who we were building for were extremely kind and made us mango lemonade. It was delicious and refreshing! After that we started to paint and put boarders on the bathroom walls. That was probably my favorite part of the day and we all got really messy with the paint. It was so much fun! I am really enjoying my time in Biloxi. The people are absolutely fabulous and i am constantly surrounded by a indescribable atmosphere. Hopefully I will see this place again! I am sad this week is almost over but I can't wait to see what tomorrow has in store. :) -Shortcake

Wednesday Baptist Service

After a long day of hard work at many different locations, the Back Bay Crew gathered together to eat a huge dinner, consisting of shrimp, crayfish, corn, potatoes, and watermelon. After everyone was full, we piled into cars and headed to a Baptist Service at a church down the road. This was a really unique experience for all of the rookies, and something we won't forget anytime soon. We found the faith of the people of the church inspiring. The positive attitude they bring to each church service is so unique and we loved their hospitality. We continued the night by singing with our new friends and hearing about how we should be whoever God made us to be. We hung around with our new friends for a little while longer before we climbed into the cars again, off on another adventure. We took a drive down Beach Road and grabbed some McDonald's along the way. When we were close to the beach, someone started shooting off fireworks! So (of course) we stopped to watch the display. We concluded the night with singing and dancing back at the mission. The day taught us the importance of teamwork, as well as how to be confident with ourselves and use the talents to our best ability. ~Battle Rancher