Some of you have asked us how this trip actually works? Are we driving 8 hours a day? Where are we staying? What exactly are we doing?
Our day starts off with a complimentary breakfast. Sometimes we stay in the homes of friends or family along the route, and other nights in a Choice Hotel. After putting ice in our cooler of waters & drinks, we usually head off for the next city’s mission. The drive is somewhere between 2-6 hours long – the eastern states are much closer together so the drive is shorter. We pass the time talking, writing in our journal, singing with the radio and stopping to take pictures. Our van is set up with a clothing rack in the middle (took the middle seat out) and the back seat open for naps. Lunch is the usual fast food sandwich or salad.
Upon arrival at the mission, we usually talk with the staff and tour the facilities, then prepare to serve the evening meal. Sometimes we work with church or individual volunteers who have signed up for that evening, other times we serve with men or women in the mission discipleship program. There is a mission chapel before or after the meal. Tim has spoken at many of these, sometimes, along with music from different youth groups who have come on a choir ministry trip. After this we have time to talk with and hear stories from the men and women in the mission. After taking some pictures of the mission and some staff members, we head off for the downtown of that particular city. Then we head to our hotel or home for the evening and plug in all of our electronics: computer, phones, and camera—before calling it a night! Actually, walking around by a riverfront, seaport, or town square for a few hours (after the mission or the next morning before leaving) gives us some needed exercise and a little taste of the city. We have been pleasantly surprised at hidden treasures in many unfamiliar towns:
In Providence, Rhode Island we walked around the river front watching the gondolas gliding along with their gondoliers in striped shirts and berets. We followed the music in the middle of the city to an open air concert with people watching from the river shores, feet dangling over the footbridges, kayaks and boats pulled up to the stage area.
In Baltimore, Maryland, after serving at the mission with William and Tara, we walked around by the Chesapeake Bay and rode the “dragon paddle boats” at sunset. So picturesque!
In Portland, Maine, we walked around the harbor and downtown area, and then went to the lighthouse on the beautiful Cape Elizabeth. Ocean waves pounding against the rocks on which the lighthouse is built creates a beautiful picture that we have often seen on calendars!
It’s amazing what you can see in a short amount of time, and we have enjoyed being able to see America, as well as serve across it. God’s beauty is everywhere, be it a sunset on the ocean or a changed life in a mission.
“Now I have two women telling me what to do” spoken by Tim referring to Dixie and Carmen (our woman’s voice on our GPS)
Highest parking fee: $40.00 at McDonalds across from Wrigley Field in Chicago. (We did not park there)
Lowest gas price so far: $2.99/gallon in South Carolina
Unusual sight: Three wild turkeys walking along the highway in New Hampshire
STORIES THAT INSPIRE
Our tour guide in one mission was a quite impressive young man dressed in long pants, shirt and tie. He was so articulate, enthusiastic, and passionate about the mission and its ministry. He shared that as the men work in different areas of the mission, they try to make it about ministry and not just work. In the cafeteria, as they set each table setting, they pray over the man who might sit down at that place– that God would work in His life. As they make the beds, they pray a special blessing on the man who might be sleeping in that bed that night. It was a great reminder for all of us, that even in the smallest job, we can look at it as an opportunity to bless others. It wasn’t until the tour was over that we realized our tour guide was not a staff member, but rather one of the program men whose life had been changed in the mission!
Thanks for taking this journey with us…
So…catch the vision
Feel our heart
Join the movement
As we SERVE ACROSS AMERICA!