This past week we have hosted a team from Canada brought by my friend and mentor Dave Skene. He brought 6 university students as part of a leadership training program put on by our friends in Global Youth Network up in Ontario. They are all interested in justice issues around the world and gave up their Spring break to come and work with us here in Modesto. Here’s our week...
Saturday - It was the nicest day of the year so far and since the team had come from the Great, White North, we took them into San Fran to fisherman’s wharf and to see the ocean. But what we really did was sit in traffic and get lost. They were good sports about it even though we didn’t have time to drive by the “Full House” house.
Sunday - They attended our New Hope service and then we went to our “formerly of the 9th St. Motels” friend Dean’s apartment building and threw a BBQ for his whole neighborhood. We all had a great time meeting folks, sharing some good chili dogs and helping Dean meet his neighbors.
Monday - We cooked the team a nice breakfast and did a bit of orientation. After lunch, we took them on a tour of poverty in Modesto and discussed the issues that keep people down.
Tuesday - A family that we know recently got a house and moved out of a 9th St. Motel. The house is trashed and definitely owned by a slum lord but we went to clean up an area in the yard for the 7 kids that live there to play soccer in. We cut, mowed, stacked, chain-sawed, dragged and played our hearts out. The team even bought them a new soccer ball!
Wednesday - We worked and worked and worked at the church...cleaing up a bit of the junk pile in the back field and preparing the garden area to be planted.
Thursday - Rain kept us from finishing the garden...we got a good start on it though. We watched a great documentary called “It Was A Wonderful Life” about women who are homeless in L.A. then the team helped with our Thursday bread run.
Friday - We had a bit of a debriefing session where we got many encouraging comments from the team about the week. They made us poutine for lunch, a wonderful Canadian delicacy of fries, cheese and gravy and then we prepared for a BBQ on 9th St. A lot of people showed up to eat...120 burgers and 60 dogs later we packed up and took the team out for dinner at the taco trucks.
Saturday - Jimmy and Aaron took them to see Yosemite National Park
...and at 3am Sunday morning, I took them to the airport. We had a great time with them and made some new friends. They are gone now and I’ll definitely miss them but after church, I plan on sleeping the rest of the day.