Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Feeding Starving Children

We fed starving children in Tajikistan tonight with our small group!

First, we took one level scoop of vitamin packed, vegetarian chicken seasoning,

and one heaping spoon of dehydrated veggies,

add one level cup of soy (for protein),

and one cup of rice,

put them all in a bag like this...

weighed the bag like this (to make sure it weighs between 380-400 grams),

sealed it up like this...

counted the bags of food up until we had 18 piles of 2 (otherwise known as 36), and boxed them up!

Then it was time to clean...

If you're lucky you may walk away with a hairnet mark on your forehead.

There were a total of 71 volunteers working tonight. 16 were from our small group. Together we filled 101 boxes, each holding 36 bags of food, each bag providing 6-1 cup meals, giving us a total of 21,816 meals, feeding 59 children for an entire year.

Here's 1/3 of our accomplishment, ready to be shipped.

Tonight was a couple of hours very well spent! We made a big difference in 59 kid's lives and had a lot of fun in the process.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Phone calls

Today is January 14, right? It's not May 1st; my birthday. I kind of wondered because the only day of the year that I ever get so many of these nice calls all on the same day, it's usually my birthday.

Today, for no reason at all, both of my brothers and my cousin Kristen called me. Well, actually my younger brother Matt had a reason. Matt and Brianne found out today that they're having a boy. I hope he looks like Matt when he was a baby (see picture below). He sure was a roley-poley little guy; we tease him now that all his baby pictures look like Chris Farley. I told Matt today that I always giggle a little when I see his baby pictures. He didn't think that was a really great compliment. I don't know why:-)

Anyway, it's always a pleasant surprise to hear from any of the three of them. We don't talk nearly enough. But for all three to call me on the same day, when it's not even close to my birthday... that made me feel pretty special. So thanks, Mike, Matt, and Kristen for brightening my day a little and giving me a warm fuzzy in this frozen tundra.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Leadership Community

On the second Saturday of every other month we do something called Leadership Community at church. This is an opportunity to bring all of the people who lead in our church together to celebrate what they're doing, encourage them, and continue to train and equip them in their various areas of volunteering. It's always a very fun and exciting atmosphere and gives the band an opportunity to play some music that they don't usually get to play. For instance, this month Leadership Community opened with the band playing "Eye of the Tiger" while our youth pastor Tim announced all of the new leaders in a way only a youth pastor can do. (Except for that time that Pastor Henry filled in for him. That was definitely a close second). So, Leadership Community always starts with a pump-up-the-crowd, get everyone excited kind of instrumental song like that. We've also started a tradition of rewriting an existing song to create kind of a new leader/volunteer parody song. This has been fun to do, but I will admit after you do it a few times, people grow to expect and anticipate what you'll come up with next. There's a little pressure there! You can read the lyrics to this month's new leader song, "Viva la Volunteer" on Pastor Henry's blog here.

If after reading the lyrics to "Viva la Volunteer" you have an idea for another song we can parody, post a comment. Sometimes coming up with the perfect song is half the battle. Once I've got the song picked out, I usually only need a couple of hours, the original lyrics, and my rhyming dictionary to get the job done. The next Leadership Community is not for 2 more months, so there's time. Share your ideas!