Last Day of Service in Fort Worth

Hey y’all, I’m Hailey and I just graduated from Mt. Vernon High School so this is my last mission trip as a youth! Our last day of service here in Fort Worth, Texas started out with us going to the Water Garden for some interesting sight seeing and to talk about the things we could possibly do to continue our work her back at home. Then we headed over to help the folks at DRC Solutions distribute food to the residents in their apartments. There we met some very nice people and some even came back just to chitchat with us! After that we went back to the Refugees Services of Texas’ clubhouse to throw a party for the neighborhood kids. Next we ventured over to Neighborhood Needs to help out DeWitt in the Neighborhood Needs Community Garden. Then we ended our day with Fuzzy’s Tacos and devotion at the Modern Art Museum. An overall packed day but it feels good to be done, looking forward to our fun day tomorrow and all that it brings! And as Crystal would say, “have a good day, make good choices!”

An Impactful Day 3

The day started off bright and early at 7:00 a.m. Everyone had a delicious breakfast to begin the morning off right. The first activity of the day was right outside at the church’s community garden. We managed to pull some weeds out of the ground, pick some cherries and peas, shoveling some mulch, and cutting some tarp to put on the ground. Right after that, we managed to have some lunch and take a nice break in the air conditioning. After we settled and got cleaned up, we did our second activity of the day with the Refugee Services of Texas. The youth were separated into groups. The first group went out and did some grocery shopping for a refugee family of 13 people. This adventure took them to a Halal Meat Market where they met Hassan, the shop owner, who helped the group get the right cut meat to make the family feel at home. The other group went and delivered gifts for parents who have recently given birth or parents who are expecting. This group got to meet a few babies and some wonderful families After a long day of working, we headed back to the church to have some dinner provided by Sam’s parents. Today was an impactful day for all of us and we hope that tomorrow will be a fun last day working with refugees.

Work Day 2 in Fort Worth

Today we woke up to meet at 7:15 and prepared for our day by watching videos about the places we were going and a video teaching us the differences between empathy and sympathy. Then we headed over to Neighborhood Needs, a local food pantry that provides people with groceries on Tuesdays and Saturdays. We packed carts full of different groceries and then pushed them out to the cars. I (Corinne) got the task of pushing a cart full of toys around to give out to parents and kids, a very fun experience to help parents choose the right toy for their children. We finished up at the food pantry after 3 hours of volunteering and getting to bring food out to people and talk to them. Then we headed over to a great picnic lunch at Clearfork next to the Trinity River in Fort Worth!

Our afternoon focused on a presentation on advocacy. We listened to a representative from Church World Services, Ayesha Hassan, talk about how we can help refugees by using our voices and we put the advocacy into practice. We wrote letters and emails, and even called senators to advocate for the FY23 refugee admissions goal. We were advocating to raise the goal to 200,000 refugees. This evening we ate some delicious brisket and mac n cheese. Following our meal we competed in a bake off. The two teams went to Tom Thumb and bought out supplies. The two dishes made were a naughty brownie and an apple puff pastry. After a tough competition, the judges were at a draw on deciding who won so it was a tie!

Connecting in Fort Worth: Day 1

The day started off early with a 7am wake up followed by breakfast. Some youth members took advantage of the large stove top grill and cooked up some eggs, while others ate bagels, yogurt, and fruit. The group then traveled to Catholic Charities where they participated in a game simulating poverty for a month. They successfully made it to the end of the month with $76 to spare. Returning to the church for lunch some members once again made good use of the grill cooking up some grilled cheese sandwiches. We then joined a zoom meeting learning more about Week of Compassion, the Disciples of Christ relief, refugee and development mission fund, and the benefits it brings to refugee families. The youth then made TikTok’s on the topic of refugee resettlement. The group finished off the night by eating a fried chicken dinner graciously prepared by our host church, Ridglea Christian Church, and hearing the stories of Fiyori Kidane, a daughter of refugees resettled in Indianapolis and a Fishers High School graduate! It was a great day of connecting and eating some good food.

From HDA

We said goodbye to our volunteers from Geist Christian Church from Indianapolis this morning. Last night they visited our farmers market and enjoyed Thursday’s on the Triangle! They also hosted a bake-off, which included a mystery ingredient (Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies) introduced 30 minutes in. I was asked to join as their guest judge! They were filled with so much positive energy and excitement all week. You guys were absolute rock stars! You made repairs to someone’s home by installing a new roof, making their home warmer and drier! You installed new flooring and a new porch for someone and made a huge impact in their home. You dug not one but two footers and framed the roof of one of our Gurney’s Bend houses. Your work was inspiring and invaluable. THANK YOU!!! -Rebekah Vermillion, HDA Summer Assistant ❤

Day 4

The last day of the mission trip did not disappoint. We switched the groups, and I was a little bummed about not getting to be with team ditch and our amazing carpenters, but day four was fun nevertheless. We were up on the roof nailing down rafters over the support beams all morning. Personally, I was not looking forward to being on a roof for a third day, but the work that we got done was incredible. We got all of the roof decking nailed by hand, no nail gun. We also took out the roof support beams and worked on the structure of the house to prepare it for dry-wall. Everyone was working so hard, and the blisters on our hands are proof. Working with our carpenters, Phillip and Steve, was the highlight of my day. They were constantly encouraging me, being patient, and making me laugh. I saw God in all of our carpenters this week, but especially these two. Driving to and from the worksites was

also a time that I connected with God. Even though the curving roads made me nauseous, the landscape was beautiful and allowed me to connect with God. The other youth and our leaders were yet another place where God was evident. This was my first mission trip, and being able to connect so quickly with my group and the other kids in general was amazing. The effort that Kyle, Jeff, and Claire put in to make this trip possible for us did not go unnoticed. I especially am grateful for Kyle because he was exhausted on the fourth day, but he was still up on the roof with us and doing his best to be positive. Lastly, for as much as I complain about him, this was the only mission trip I will get to do with my brother in the youth group. Dominic was constantly making sure I was feeling ok, had enough to eat, and was comfortable on the roof, and I am ao thankful to have such a godly brother. I

have made so many friends and memories this week, and I could not have asked for a better first mission trip.

Carly Minatel

Last Day

Today we woke up at 5:30 sharp…again. At the worksite we began the day by tearing up the old floors. Next, learned the proper way to measure and cut laminate floors in order to reinstall the floors of part of the kitchen and living room. Also, Robbie and I used a table saw and cut baseboards that we then secured using a nail gun.

Today we finished the deck that we started on Wednesday. I started out by drilling in all of the spindles. Following the spindles, we dug holes to put the support beams in. To finish it up, Tyler and I mixed up the cement and hammered underneath the deck.