Monday, February 25, 2008

Red Beans, White Nosehairs: A Mississippi Love Story in Three & 1/2 Acts

So, I just returned from a two week journey that took me to San Diego, California and Long Beach, Mississippi. My week in California was wonderful- I attended the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators Annual Event. Rodger Nishioka was the keynoter- he was fantastic as always. I spent my week catching up with old friends, lounging in the sun, attending wonderful workshops, and I came home with tons of new ideas and more importantly, about 15 new books! Yay!

Now, onto the main event: LPC's mission trip to Long Beach, Mississippi. Wow, it was so much fun! There were 25 of us from LPC (which included 4 father-child duos) and we were joined by 2 members of Vienna Pres in VA- Randi & Beth. We worked at five different work sites, doing lots of drywall work! My team was indeed the best!! There were seven of us working at Moses & Myrtle's house- this very sweet, older African-American couple. We spent our week sanding, mudding, and priming their house (which was 2,000 square feet with 10 rooms!). After four days of long, hard work, we managed (along with reinforcements throughout the week) to sand and mud all of the rooms and prime three of them.

The best part of the week was when our lovely homeowners provided us with lunch- homemade fried chicken, red beans & rice, and cornbread. It was truly amazing. While Moses & Myrtle have very little of their own, they provided us with wonderful hospitality.

In terms of the title of this post, needless to say, we inhailed a ton of white dust! Our team kept the mood light- lots of laughter and inside jokes, along with words of day. I got to know Erin, Elden, Steve, Barb, Mike, and Dixie on a whole other level. I love each of them & I am grateful for their friendships.

We stayed at Long Beach Presbyterian Church- bunk beds, outdoor showers, not much else. But, we had a good time. Ate tons of food - Darwells, Lil Ray's, Cajun Catfish Hut. It was fun. We're very sore, pretty darn tired, but humbled by the experience. Let's say we felt the Mississippi mojo!

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