The past few days have been truly incredible. So many moments this summer I've thought to myself....'I get paid to do this?!'.
Crystal, Israel, and myself headed to Open Door Mission, a men's rehabilitative facility near us. We walked in the kitchen and were greeted by our friends Randy, Dean, Doug, Ricky, Charles, and the list goes on and on. The men here are incredible and have such beautiful testimonies involving the power and love of our great Lord. Since they already had a group of volunteers scheduled for the day, they didn't really have any specific tasks for us to do. We simply hung out - which beats cutting huge vidalia onions any day. Though I must admit, a huge part of me wanted to keep busy and to do something 'productive' according to my silly definition of productivity. We played horse and ping pong, which Crystal is amazing at, I must say. We laughed and relaxed as we shared the joys of the morning. My friend Rick (who loves to give me a hard time) told me about how he wanted me to plant two of the potted pepper plants in the ground. Though I love gardening, I still have lots to learn and so it is always quite entertaining when different organizations give me such much responsibility with their gardens. Anyway, I went outside and dug two new homes for the peppers. The sun was beating down on me and no one was around except the birds and a few bikers on the bike trail nearby. The pruning of the plants and the scents of the herbs was truly therapeutic. When I went back inside I was sure to bring along a small basil leaf. My friend Cordell came up and hugged me which made me feel like one of the family members. I look forward to the day when I'm in my 70's and can hug everyone, kiss them on the cheek, and call them 'darlin'.
The three of us ventured out to Israel's anchor site for the summer. Here we went swimming with 15 energetic children. Crystal and I swam in our clothes and basically were human buoys for a few hours. The rain poured near the end of our swim time and we all ran towards shelter, which was ironic as we were already soaking wet. A cute pit bull puppy followed me around for a while. We rode back soaking wet in Crystal's 94 chevy pickup with the windows down and tunes flowing.
I'm so thankful for these simple yet amazing moments.
-Courtney, CSM Houston Summer 2010 City Host