Texas Missions Trip: Day 1

It is now 6:46 AM and I am about 12,000 feet in the air going anywhere from 300-500 miles per hour. Some of my youth group and I are en route to Porter, Texas (near Houston) where we will be working at a week-long camp for foster children. We left Altoona, PA at 2:15 AM and drove 2 ½ hours to the Harrisburg Airport. Our plane took off at 6:00 AM and we are flying to Cincinnati and then to Houston. Everything has gone smoothly so far, well…except for the flight attendant yelling at me for trying to turn my computer off (which is what she asked everyone to do).

I attempted to get my computer out to write this (when it was ok to do so) but there wasn’t enough space in between me and the back of the seat in front of me to open it fully, so I resorted to pen and paper. Then my pen died and the guy next to me came to the rescue with a new one. Thank you, guy next to me!

I’m very excited about this trip for many reasons. The first being that this is the first missions trip I have ever been on…and I am leading it! It’s an awesome opportunity that forces me to rely fully on God! Another reason I’m excited is because of what we will actually be doing. We were originally supposed to go to Reynosa, Mexico but thanks to the extreme violence and swine flu, I had to pull the plug on that trip. So our plan B missions trip (this one) is actually something that I know all about (camp ministry). I worked at a summer camp in Massachusetts three summers ago and I believe God put me through that to prepare me for this. Isn’t it awesome how God does things? (The answer is yes!!!) Another reason I am excited is because I was born in Texas (24 years ago) and I have never been back since before my first birthday. I am nowhere near where I was born, but it’s still cool to be back in Texas! And the last reason, and probably the least significant reason I am excited to be here is because we are going to get authentic barbequing lessons from someone related to Keith (one of my leaders). If you know me, you know I love BBQ, I’ll write more tomorrow about how the BBQ lessons went!

We had some troubles finding the camp due to TomTom’s (my GPS) inadequacies (it didn’t know a lot of the new additions done to the roads around here. Oh well, we made it. Upon arrival at the camp, we had to sit in front of the gate for a good 20 minutes or so while I called around to find out who was going to come and unlock the gate for us. Eventually, we got in. The cabin/house/mansion thing we are staying in for the first three nights is AMAZING! It is extremely nice and well decorated, and the AC keeps it nice and cool in here! It definitely feels more like a vacation than a missions trip, but that will change once the campers arrive.

Here are a couple pictures of the kitchen (to illustrate how nice this place is:

img293 img294

Our original plan for the day was to go to a sweet water park around here. But after we got unpacked and situated, I called the park to find out what time they close. The lady said they close at 7:00 PM. If I was a water park, I would definitely NOT close at 7 at night when the sun is still out and it is over 100 degrees outside. That doesn’t make much sense to me. Good thing I am not a water park. Anyway, I proceeded to ask the lady about pricing and if they gave a discount if you come later in the day. She said no, you still have to pay the full $32.99. So, our group made an executive decision to avoid paying $32.99 for only a few hours of water park fun! Instead we went to the swimming pool here and then hung out at our sweet cabin thing. The girls also went canoeing while the guys sat in the nice, cool air conditioning!

Next on the agenda: I am taking everyone out for dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. They don’t know that they don’t have to pay yet either. Surprise, surprise! Ok, I’m rambling on now and I should probably end this. But that’s what usually happens when you only got about 2 hours of sleep in the last 24 + hours.

Until next time…

– paulg

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5 Responses to Texas Missions Trip: Day 1

  1. Murph says:

    PG – u do KNOW that u have to update your TomTom online, right? RIGHT? 🙂

  2. Pastor Tm says:

    thanks for the updates….keep ’em coming…and we will keep on praying!
    cool blog!

  3. Mr. Bill says:

    Pastor Paul

    I am happy everything is working out. The Building has a long history… It once was the Main headquarters office of Arrow. Then they changed it to host foster kids etc. The apartment you are staying in was for the host family.

    I hope the kids are adjusting to the hot weather. Joan and I have had a few warm days. This is what summer is all about…. Go Blog.

    In Christ

    Mr. Bill and Joan

  4. Pastor paulg,
    We enjoyed reading about the start of your missions trip — wise decision not to pay $32.99 (that was a rip-off!!).
    We really appreciate your sense of humor and your terrific writing skills (could there be a book in your future?).
    Will look forward to updates and we will be praying for all of you every day.

  5. Randy says:

    Hey Paul,

    Thanks for the updates. It is nice to know what is going on. We prayed for you guys at the board meeting tonight and we will all continue to hold you up in prayer. You are doing a great job leading our youth, I appreciate you so much. Your passion for youth is evident, keep up the great work. Stay safe and we’ll see you on Friday night.

    Take care,
    Randy

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