Our NOLA 2010 Mission Trip – Highlights – Post 2

On Friday we returned from our student mission trip to New Orleans and I find myself trying to describe this incredible experience. Once again, we had an excellent team. It was our largest which was 19 students and 4 leaders. And once again, our church and leadership were supportive and generous in allowing this opportunity.

I have not been able to really articulate my reflections for posting yet but until I do, here are a few highlights:

I really enjoyed my conversations with The Gathering Team. Had some excellent conversations with Aaron (their community pastor) and got to know Pastor Matt. He told us the story of how he and his family (with two very young children) moved 6 months after Katrina and lived off of generators for 18 months.  This decision spoke so much to their new neighbors and community.  It’s usually at this point, that the story would say, “And their church sky-rocketed in growth” but instead, they began very non-dramatically seeking intentional relationships and serving the community in any way they could.

I don’t have any pictures with Aaron (the Community Pastor of the Gathering) but I think one of the moments I will remember is the conversation with a woman who we had delivered furniture to.  It was very pastoral, very caring, and it seemed very unlikely that she would ever step foot in their church.  When I mentioned this to Aaron, he said something like, “Well, that’s not why we do it.”   That’s Christ-like.

Watching our students reading Scripture and journaling after lunch and throughout other parts of the day. After one of our work days, I walked by one room where about ten students had gathered, sat separately, silently with Bibles and notebooks open. Honestly, I didn’t recognize them at first (“Which youth group is this?” ;-) I almost took a picture but thought that was lame, I now regret it – my eyes have deceived me before.

I don’t know how many times I thought to myself, “I can’t believe he/she came on this trip. I was pretty sure they’d never come on one. And look he/she is loving it!”

Beignets from Cafe Du Monde!  Yeah we know they’re basically funnel cakes but with even more sugar and everything else that is bad for you.

It was great meeting the youth group from Richmond.  They have an awesome youth pastor and I hope our paths cross again.

This is could be a post unto itself but our youth leaders are amazing. We had some challenges on this trip and having a great leaders was huge asset. Icould not imagine them not having been there.

I didn’t think that I would ever be moved to see a Wal-Mart. I am not a big fan of the retail giant but it did bother me that it was not able to open again for four years after Katrina. Much to the joy of Chalmatte, it finally returned.  I visited almost daily to get water, cough medicine and Sharpies.  It symbolizes that more and more people and businesses are moving back to Chalmatte.  And just recently announced, they finally plans for the hospital to return.

Hearing the news that oil spill had been stopped.  As you can imagine, hearing people talk about it there is far different than talking about it in Jersey.

Siblings!  I will always remember the siblings of this trip.  We had four sets of siblings attend this year – can’t really get into it on here but there were some beautiful family moments. I am not even their Mom and I was moved.

Watching our team deal with some real adversity.  There was some real solid perseverance that led to healthy group building and Christian unity – I’m really proud of this team.


  1. Siblings! Tall ones. Right behind you in the picture. I taught them everything they know. You can tell them I said that.

    It’s pretty crazy reading this and remembering CZR way back when. I’m sure these kids’ll look back on this trip with similar thoughts. Great stuff.

  2. The Slothful One says:

    Great write-up and welcome back!

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