Friday, June 24, 2005

Let them Play with Killer Bees

When I was 13, I was really involved in a church youth group. I've mentioned before that the movie "Saved" is very near and dear to me, so I think you will understand what kind of years those were. One year, we worked every Saturday of the Fall serving food at college football games to raise enough money to go on a "mission trip". Child labor laws--who needs them?

Thousands of nachos and hotdogs later (do you know they made us through away hundreds of hotdogs each game because you can't feed leftovers to the homeless?), we were on our way to do some mission work.

They sent us south to the poorest county in Arkansas. Have you ever been to Arkansas? Saying "the poorest county in Arkansas" is the polar opposite of saying "the richest region of the Hamptons".

They had us roofing houses (it was July), working at a Boys and Girls Club in a neighborhood that the police were afraid to enter, and taking care of abandoned-elderly folk at a nursing home that made Tibetan prisons look like hotels.

At the end of the trip, we got to go to a park in Texas as a reward. They dropped us off with trashbags and buckets of green paint. Oh the fun we had cleaning up needles, condoms, and plastic baggies! The paint was for painting the benches blackened with graffiti. I learned the street spelling of Mutha Fuka that day--Praise the Lord!

Best quote of the trip from the project leader: That's right kids, don't you worry about the needles--just be real careful and y'all be alright. It's the killer bees that you should be on the look out for. Yep, killer bees have been seen in these here parts. Don't worry, though. The Lord, he blesses y'all and will protect y'all.

I started thinking about that trip because of this article.


At 7:39 PM, Blogger Murky Thoughts said...

Let's pray this was before AIDS took off and they don't have the kids picking up needles nowawadays.

At 4:13 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

As I've previously posted, I lived in NE Arkansas for six years - so I "get" where you are coming from.

At 6:54 PM, Blogger she falters to rise said...

The Lord protected us from the AIDS. I'm sure that they believed that good Christian kids couldn't get aids--some churches have always been behind the science.

Jessica: I actually really liked many aspects of Arkansas. A woman who worked at Walmart (where we bought some of our roofing supplies) asked what we were doing in town. When we told her, she was so touched that she came to where we were staying and cooked all 30 of us a huge meal. She wouldn't take any money for it. People really cared and appreciated what we were doing everywhere we went. That part of the trip was worth some of the less pleasant experiences we had.


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