a day in a ghetto minivan full of and covered in paint

yes, my minivan here is pretty ghetto. i’ve spilled paint on the front, thus it’s nickname freckles. paint was spilt inside, i added purple. the window wipers work when they want to, on one speed: super fast. rear wiper only works in reverse. passenger window is off track and falls in if you try to run it down. forget the AC. i’ve got 2/60 ac. 2 windows down goin 60 miles an hour….well 1 window now i guess.

anyways. this is not a post about a minivan.

what a day it was today. what a summer it’s been.

the bittersweetness is beginning to set in. a week from now i will be done with programming. family weeks are sunday night-thursday morning, so ministry (work project) days are monday, tuesday, wednesday. only three more. i’m anxious and excited to go home and see my family, my friends, and Tom again and get to work on wedding stuff, but i will miss this place, these people, the not deathly hot summer, and this job.

i spend my days meeting with people who are mostly elderly or imporverished asking if they would like us to do landscaping and paint their homes whatever color we have and then get to see that project through. sometimes, like a house we worked on this week, she didn’t necessarily want the only color we have left: steel blue, so the tribal office offered (since she’d worked there til she was diagnosed with cancer) to buy the paint for her in her dream color: navajo (brick) red. and we got to paint it. i got to just sit and listen to her tell me stories of her life in minnesota. tribal stories, life stories, family stories, just listen. it was beautiful. and there’s well water here which is SO much better than city water.

this is most of my day.  its beautiful. i’m gonna miss it terribly.

i want and pray daily to find a way to do something similar as a full time career but i have NO idea what it looks like. i LOVE work projects and involving youth in them. i love showing up in my ghetto minivan with a 24 foot ladder falling out the back praying the paint doesn’t spill and a kid doesn’t get stabbed by a scraper and getting to make dreams come true for this community.

there’s no way i could do what i do here 40 hours a week and not die of exhaustion, but i pray that this can transfer into something more full time. maybe without the minivan and the running around all day on 4 hours of sleep, but still the same impacting, relationship building, opportunity creating…all in the name of simply sharing God‘s love with the community.

this has been the hardest, most beautiful, life changing, faith strengthening, best summer i could have dreamed of.

oh. and today, the president of youth specialties (tic long) and president of youthworks (paul bertelson) came to visit our site which was amazing. i got to drive someone who’s blog i’ve read, who i’ve seen at conferences (YS) who’s just an all around great genuine guy around as we held ladders from falling while driving into the middle of nowhere. i love this place and this job.

pray that something like this can fall into my lap as a career


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