Hello Family and friends,
The weather has been typical Fall weather, beautiful, cool, crisp, sunny, cloudy, and best of all turtle neck weather!!!!
After our orientation we went right to work. Our crew (about 8 of us) all work together to set up the dining room tables for all meals. Afterwards, we break into two different teams, housekeeping and special projects. The Housekeeping team takes care of cleaning of student rooms and common areas. The special projects team, including me and Mickey and one other, have different jobs. So far we have taken down curtains, cleaned windows, put up winter windows, cleaned the exterior of the house for cob webs, cleaned about 7 closets, packed away clothes left behind to take to a shelter and cleaned washers and dryers. The other teams in the group include maintenance, gardening, food prep (Andrea), laundry, and staff support(Jessie).
Everyone goes off into their areas and does their job. It is pretty much a well oiled machine. Our team (guest services/hospitality) meets twice a day for devotions and go over the agenda for the day. The devotions are great b/c it reminds us why we are here.
It’s ironic, here folks are cleaning toilets, moving chairs, setting up rooms, filling coffee, taking out the trash and yet asked to do it at home or work we grunt, look at the person asking as if they have a third eye. Here we are doing it as part of our mission trip, serving and representing the love of Jesus. What makes home different than here? I am working next to deans, elders, teachers, architects and yet none of it matters. Here we are all one, no titles, no seniority, no authority all servants for Jesus.
The students arrived yesterday. Ah, it brings back memories of students moving into the resident halls. There was a full dining room last night. Each of us was given a number to host a table. We serve soup/chili, pass dishes around, serve coffee, try to keep conversation going or even start it. My first meal, most of the students were from Romania and most didn’t speak English. The different languages were like music to your ears. I couldn’t help but think, different language yet same heart and love for Jesus. We really aren’t so different. Tonight my table consisted of students from Modovia and the director for the site here. The students here speak pretty good English, but there were times they went into their own language. There is one lady who was at my table twice now, she doesn’t speak English. I remembered what she liked to drink and just had it ready for her. I said “hi” to her when she sat down and she replied back with “hi”….I going to try “good night” tomorrow or maybe I’ll try learning it in her language. The stories of students are wonderful and sad, some of them have to go thru great obstacles to get here, mostly with their Visa. Some get all the way to customs and then get turned away! The sacrifices they are making to come here is heart warming, yet again, reminds me how we in the States are so privileged and what we take for granted.
We do work tomorrow and part of Sunday, tables do need to be set! I don’t think any major cleaning though. We are going to the next town over after lunch called Baden. They said there isn’t much shopping but good ice cream. I wish I could say the food is terrible here and I am wilting away but I can’t.
Please continue to pray for good health and rest for the staff and teams. Pray for the students here, to be well rested and clear minded in their studies. They are covering 3 months of book work in five days. Pray for their families and homes and churches. We do have a friend home leaving on a mission trip to TN in a few days. Please pray for them and their travels.
– Lynne Leftwich