This morning we woke up in Miami with all 62 of us (air mattress included) crowded into one small church youth room, so you could say that we have definitely bonded over these past few days! We have also gotten to know each other during the 10 hour bus ride through hours of cards games, lip syncs and pelting each other with foam baseballs. Yesterday we got the chance to see the beautiful city and beaches of Miami. First we went to the Central Church’s contemporary service, which was complete with an amazing band and sermon about God and his ways of dealing with finances. After the message, we traveled out to Virginia Key Beach for some free time and fun out in the water. We went through hours of intense baseball games, only ending the competition when the ball was sliced in half. During our time of relaxation, we explored exotic marine life thanks to the keen eye of Dr. Knox and the brave souls of those who actually touched what they felt underwater. The Miami sun definitely brought on the heat as some of us ended up with some nice pink shoulders and faces (sorry Mom)! Another intense match of 9 square was played when we brought the game into the ocean, resulting in some slightly injured egos and sore muscles (all in good fun, as always). Probably everyone’s favorite part of the day was when we took a ride on the Thriller speedboat. Some screamed, some cried (out in joy), but we all ended up enjoying the amazing sunset against the Miami skyline that we viewed from the speedboat. At night we had our nighttime program starting with our amazing worship team, who gave an awesome performance. Next Jared introduced us to the sermon series, which focuses on making God one of the main focuses in your life by controlling the amounts of time spend with cell phones, social media, video games, and TV. We broke down Jared’s message in our small groups, helping us to further understand how these things affect our relationship with Christ and what we can do differently. After that, highs and lows of the day and “God moments” were shared and Rachel Zimmerman and Nicole Diaz led the “Warm Fuzzies” program, which resulted in many laughs from the audience.
The next morning we woke up, dressed and drove to the Miami Dream Center for our first work day. After splitting into small groups, we separated and each group painted one house in the community known as “Little Haiti”. It was scorching hot outside but we pushed through and painted 5 houses total! It was so rewarding to see the grateful faces of those who owned these houses. One even opened up her doors and windows and played us music while we worked throughout the day! After we were done, we drove back to the church and relaxed after our long day of painting!
And that’s where we are now! We can’t wait for what tomorrow brings us and are excited to see many more God moments throughout the week!
That’s all folks!
-Caroline Poston and Caroline Gratwick