The team members continue to work hard, rain or shine, and it shows. The road is noticeably smoother, the yard looks heaps better than it did before (heaps is similar to much or very in Australia :), and the concrete floor that has been laid looks nice. The past few days of working have been a little harder as the team has been preparing for the concrete man to come.
On Monday and Tuesday some team members painted the A-frames and even luckier team members were blessed to be chosen to get into muddy holes and remove excess mud and water. These team members received lovely mud baths and showed up to dinner completely covered. Despite my joking attitude, this task was not too bad. The teens chosen had fun doing it and truly showed what it meant to “Get Dirty for God.”
Today the concrete man came and delivered the concrete, and the team has worked hard to mix and lay it. They began work earlier than normal and finished after it had already grown dark. The progress made is significant and impressive. This day was a true test of reliance on God’s strength to help you through. Despite the long hours, the team members remained positive and helped each other in order to accomplish the task set before them.
Eight of the 22 team members had the privilege of visiting a middle school and sharing the Gospel in small groups. Each member came back uplifted and in great spirits. They were all able to share their testimony with their group and to answer questions the students had. I am anxious to hear more about their experience in the coming days. I know God has used them in an amazing way to reach kids not much younger than themselves.
Overall the team is doing well. They are making it their goal to trust God, rely on Him for strength, and to glorify Him through their work. This can be hard at times, but they are helping and encouraging each other along.
So the last group of people to talk about is our cute leader children. I am so glad I have gotten to know Emma Hearn, Jack Hearn, and William Fripp. Each one of them is so kind and adorable and well behaved. Emma is doing well, but is ready to be home. Despite this, she is cheery and happy. She says hi to Gran and Grampy and that she misses you and can’t wait to see you. She says she got you a good surprise but you can’t have it until Christmas! Emma also says that she misses her Grandma Ginger and Papa. Jack Hearn is also doing well. Jack, Emma, and William spend their day finding creative ways to spend their time each day. Today Jack had them all read Bible verses and tell each other Bible stories for an hour or so. Jack also says hi to Gran and Grampy. William Fripp is a cutie. He always gives out hugs and is kind towards everyone. He has been doing great since being here. He would like to say hi to his Grandma and that he loves you, misses you, and can’t wait to see you! All of the leader kids are fantastic and I will miss them so much when it is time to part!
I will also miss all of the team members! I have grown so close to them all and they are truly my brothers and sisters in Christ. I have enjoyed seeing each of them grow throughout this trip. Most of the team has learned to appreciate things we have at home that we take so easily for granted. Seeing the change in individual kids has blessed me tremendously as well. When Caleb Jenkins first began at Boot Camp, he wasn’t the happiest camper and really wanted a plane ticket home. Despite all this, he toughed through it and worked hard. Now in Australia, he is an incredibly hard worker. During devos he read in Philippines that it says to do everything without complaining, and since that day he rarely complains. The other leaders and I have noticed that he has a growing interest in what is being talked about during the religious education and evangelism classes. Caleb is an amazing teen, and I am very happy he decided to come. Lizzy Anderson is another hard worker. She very rarely complains, and always encourages those around her. She strives to give her all to God and to be a good example of a woman of faith. Furthermore she encourages those around her to grow in their faith and in their walk with God. She is always there to give someone a hug or lift them up when they are feeling down. I am blessed to have Lizzy on this team as she is an example of a mature Godly woman that many of the other girls can look up to. Brie Goodwin is a girl who I am impressed with. She is the youngest on our team (turned 13 on Commissioning Day), yet works hard. She has a tendency to be the loudest and generally the most hyper, but we love her for it. She has done a great job of knowing when it is okay to be loud and when it is not okay. Having her on KP was a joy as she worked hard without complaining, volunteered to cut onions, and kept all of our attitudes joyful. I am so happy that Brie is on this trip and don’t know what I would do without her loving attitude and lovely laugh. Well that is all for now! G’day Mate!
Brie Goodwin – Australia is way better than Boot Camp. We got to go to the zoo and it was amazing!!! I got to pet a kangaroo and a koala. They were both so soft = D I have also made some great friends. I have to say Pastor Matt Hearn has been a great leader and I can’t forget all the other amazing leaders taking great care of me 😉
Preston Purdom – Australia…nice place, good candy (better than American candy I suppose). We went to the Australia Zoo, it was pretty cool. I really liked it, I was able to see some animals I have wanted to see my entire life. I got to pet a koala, but it wasn’t all that exciting. It was soft though. I got to see all kinds of animals though. I got to see a Wallaby, and even bought one (a stuffed one of course). We have been working on a lot of projects. So far we have finished a few. We don’t have too many days left, so I hope to see you all when I get back. Hi Mom and Dad, I love you and miss you! Also tell Landon I got him a platypus and Noah a wallaby. Truly yours, Preston.