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New Orleans Mission Trip 2010 - Thursday, July 15

Hi Everyone,

It has been a busy day and everyone is exhausted, so I decided to write today's reflection and update.

Starting off the day with a wonderful breakfast of French Toast, made by Jeanette and Cindy, drove Sherman, Robby, Jarrett, and Jessica Chew to our worksite to continue working on Mrs. Brown's home. We spoke with John Ott, our onsite construction manager, before he gave out assignments and we got to work. We got a change of pace in work today as we got to switch from scraping paint and other prep work to some more serious stuff like ripping out rotting floorboards so that they could be replaced.

After a long and hot workday (the thermometer in the car reported 103 degrees outside!), we quickly made our way back to Parkway to shower before going on a brief driving tour through part of the Lower 9th Ward, the Musician's Village, past the "Brad PItt houses", and then finally to dinner at Praline Connection. Many of our group ordered the "Taste of Soul Platter", which included ribs, gumbo, red beans and rice, fried chicken, fried catfish, jambalaya, and to top it all off, bread pudding.

Upon our return, we had a devotion and then had siu yeh with the group of 28 from the Lutheran Church in South Carolina with whom we've been sharing space at Parkway. Jeanette, Cindy, and Doreen helped to prepare fried rice and almond jello which was a big hit. Several people approached me telling me how wonderful they thought almond jello was since this was their first time eating it!

As we near the end of our trip, I look back on the week and I thank God for all the different opportunities and experiences with which we have been blessed. From the sights and sounds of the city to the many people from throughout the United States whom we've met, I've seen God working in amazing ways. I've learned so much from the group through our experiences working together, sharing during Table Readings, and discussions during our evening devotions. I have also continued to learn from the people of New Orleans who have been through obstacles and tests that I know would raise serious doubts in my faith and how I see the world. But despite the terrible flooding in 2005, the constant threat of future hurricanes, the BP oil spill, and so much more, the natives of New Orleans continue to celebrate the gift of life through food, music, and conversation.

Though we only have two days left on this trip, I hope that we can all continue to learn from and be inspired by our experiences. Thank you for your prayers, well wishes, e-mails, and support. See you all soon!

In Christ,
Chris Cheuk

[ Friday July 16 ]