Wednesday, April 16, 2014
The Jesus House
Debbie and Max Carlisle along with Cheri and I managed the junior high youth program at our church for many years. More accurately, Debbie and Cheri did most of the preparation and teaching while Max and I rode shotgun over the rambunctious boys. We made several trips to Branson, Six Flags, Frontier City and other destinations. The Branson trips were in conjunction with an annual Christian youth rally. Frontier City was a day for young Christians and they called it "St.Youts Day". I was told the name came from a line in the movie (My Cousin Vinny), I've never checked on the accuracy of that.
On one occasion we took a group to Oklahoma City. Debbie had scheduled for about three hours of helping at the Jesus house, then lunch and laser tag. None of us had ever volunteered at the Jesus house, so we didn't know what to expect. We took our junior high group of about 20 and headed for OKC. We were escorted to a warehouse that contained lots of shelves, many large containers and a huge dumpster for trash. At one end of the building was a huge pile of DONATIONS. I use that term loosely.
This was about 25% of the original pile.
Our job was to sort through the pile and place the DONATIONS in the correct bin, shelf, or dumpster. We should have all been wearing gloves because the DONATIONS sometimes contained leftover food, mice, and other unidentifiable items. The first thing that everybody noticed was the odor. Not wanting to set a bad example, our sponsors waded in first and encouraged the Youts to follow suit. I would estimate that 30% of the DONATIONS ended up in the trash dumpster. Some people will abuse anything. Plastic plates with silverware and dried on food seemed to be a popular donation. I remember seeing a couple of lingerie items and many articles of clothing that were put into a bin marked rags. Occasionally someone would scream after disturbing a mouse. We all learned from that experience and I admire those kids for sticking with it as long as they did. I don't think we made it the entire three hours, but we pretty much cleaned up the pile that was on the floor.
I look back at that trip with a different perspective towards those who live their lives helping at the Jesus House. They definitely have a calling to help those in need. I know they are laying up for themselves treasurers in heaven.
Fortunately, we were able to wash up pretty good and eat lunch.
Laser tag was a blast.
Much Love, Dennis