Just dropping in real quick before we leave for Canada's Wonderland theme park on our lovely day off :)
Man what a week we have had. Thursday we had a free evening, which we spent at an awesome playground/park and then down to the beach to frolick and splash. Relaxing for some time after such heavy things we've experienced was much needed, and we played with reckless abandon.
Yesterday was our last day of service projects, and saying goodbye to all the people we've met was difficult. In my group, we made hamburgers as the last meal. We had to chop up like 20 onions to mix in, and I had to leave the kitchen because my eyes were dying.
During cleanup I stepped outside again to get some air, I heard a gentle question "Have you read Monte Cristo?"
I looked up the stairs, and a man I had seen at lunch everyday reading the newspaper was looking at me expectantly, holding out a worn book.
"No, I haven't," I replied, climbing the steps up to him, "is that it right there?"
My new friend proceeded to show a backpack full of books published around 100 years ago that he found in...get this...the recycling bin. They were in great shape considering, and included many classics from all over the world. I didn't catch his name, but he has a small apartment full of book I soon learned. It was such a fun and educational conversation, and I hated telling him after about 20 minutes that I had to go help clean up.
Anyways, after we were done at our service sites, we met as a whole group at a park for our final challenge, to pray and then disperse into a local market (not unlike Pike Place) to perform random acts of kindness. My group consisted of Emily, Josh and Paul H, and we bought 15 orange daisises to hand out. We were scared to start, but once we saw how happy it made people and got bright smiles, we couldn't be stopped. Other small groups handed out cookies and water, or held open doors for people.
We had dinner at a Somali restaurant, eating only with our right hand with no utensils, washing the goat and rice down with watermelon juice. The food this week has been unbelievable.
We watched the sunset from a park and each group shared a creative summary of our weeks through skits and song and dance. Then Steve, one of the hosts, shared his story, how he lived on the streets and struggled to survive. We closed in prayer and talked about how we would continue our service back home, living everyday through Christ in our actions.
Our week with CSM ended in a full circle, or a double-Uie as some would say, at the Wendy's/Tim Horton's for some doughnuts and loud chatter. We were all asleep by 1am, to prepare for today, which began with cleaning the church and now we are heading off to ride some rollercoasters and swim on some water rides :)
Shout out to all you who've been praying for us, and we all can't wait to get home and share our experiences in more depth.