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Race For the Prize

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In our younger days, my wife and I used talk about the different sports that we both participated in while growing up. Speed is a necessity in every sport one can think of. The sometimes overly competitive spirit that we both have would often bring up the subject of who was faster or quicker. Eva played softball and basketball while I ran track and was a swimmer. While speed in running pertained to both of us, we realized that the differences between running up and down a court and running an 800 meter race were many. The training for endurance as well as speed were worlds apart. But as we have grown older one harsh reality has set in; we are no longer those athletes. It has now been more than half our lives since we were in good enough physical shape to perform that way. Amazing how eighteen years of not training really diminishes ability. 

Our life and relationship with Christ is similar in that when we are not seeking him on a regular basis, the "muscles" and connections begin to lessen. I often find that when prayer, bible reading and service are not on the top of my priority list the things that don't really matter in life take over. That is why we need to consistently reassess and reflect on our lives and  readjust our gaze to Jesus. We are not merely training for an upcoming event, but seeking an everlasting relationship with the creator. Essentially, it is a marathon not a sprint. We will not receive the prize in full until we meet Jesus face to face but we will get to experience the benefits of the training and sacrifice along the way. The legacy that we leave among the lives that we touch in this life is a prize in and of itself. Our children learn from our service to others, our prayers and our studies. They see the devotion and what it entails and if we are so blessed they begin the long race marathon with Christ themselves.

Paul states in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run,

but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a

perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I 

do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control..".

We must always be training and involved in the race that Christ has given us. There may be times in life where it seems like we are not moving forward or we are moving too slowly, but we must keep running. We must not disengage. The legacy that we leave behind is worth it. The prize of Christ is worth it.  

Posted by Chris Taylor with 1 Comments

Work, Tradition, and Rain

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Work, Tradition and Rain

Tuesday and Wednesday were beautiful days in New Orleans. On each of those days, the team dug in, worked hard and completed a great deal of work. One of our crews completed the framework of a huge deck which is going to serve as a platform between the concessions stand and the restrooms at Carolyn Park in St. Bernard Parish.

A second group did some clean up and painting at Patricia Park, while a third crew attacked a to-do list at our Camp Hope Volunteer Base Camp.

After a full day on the work sites on Tuesday and a half day on Wednesday, the crew headed to The French Quarter for lunch, shopping and sight-seeing.

“Being on the deck crew, I was eager to just jump into work, but the first parts of building  deck involve a lot of measuring getting set up, so it was kind of slow and it forced me to have a lot of patience,” Kyle Wellman said. “After that was done, we were able to move along and complete a lot of work on Tuesday and Wednesday.”

Following time on the job site and in the French Quarter, the WRCC crew returned to Camp Hope where the current high school students and adult leaders formed a panel to allow the middle school students to ask questions. Wellman, a senior at Noblesville High School on his fifth trip to NOLA, pointed to serving on the panel as a highlight of his week.

“My favorite part of Wednesday was being able to do the panel and answer questions from the other students as well as hear different viewpoints of life from the others on the panel,” Wellman said. “It was cool to be able to give some of the younger students some insight into what to expect as they move into high school.”

Fellow senior and also on his fifth trip to New Orleans, Tyler Marcum also pointed to being able to assist younger students a highlight of his week. “Being able to spend time with our other students was great. Having been on the trip before, at the beginning of the week on a project, I was showing them what they needed to be doing, because I’ve been here before,” Marcum said. “ When you get to the end of the week and you’re doing a project, they have watched you and  the new students dive in and get it done.”

While Thursday held promise to be another productive day on the job sites, rain interfered with those plans. Instead, we spent a few hours of work around Camp Hope and then turned to team building and enjoying one another’s company as rain stifled the work we could get done.

Unfortunately, the inclement weather interfered with what is arguably one of the highlights of each trip where we visit a local park and spend time with those who live in the surrounding neighborhoods. With outreach rained out, the plan is for an evening of games and hanging out along with a trip to a local ice cream shop.

This trip will likely be the last one for Wellman as he moves on to college next season, but reflecting on the past five years, he encourages others to consider this trip.

“It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of faith building,” Wellman said. “A lot of people come down here thinking they are going to help people with less money and not as good a lifestyle as what we live, but the people here have helped me a ton more than I have helped them and the little projects I come to do here have helped them.”

With closing out his fifth, and likely final, trip to NOLA with WRCC, Marcum is excited for the future of the trip. “Showing others on the trip what it means to love and to serve and especially to love and serve in New Orleans, is great,” Marcum said. “It’s great to see a big group of people who like to serve as much as you do. I see a lot of myself in some of the students and it’s cool to see yourself in them. Being able to see the work you’ve done in the past and see what it has become is really cool; it’s the whole big picture thing. You keep working on something, because eventually it  will  blossom into something more beautiful than you thought it would be. That’s what this trip has become for me.”

“It’s a good starter trip whether you want to go as a one-time trip, or if missions is something you want to do for a long time. It’s a great place to start. If a bunch of eighth-grade students can do it, so can you.”

Gracie Friesen is one of the first-timers on the trip and came away with a memory of individuals and how they dealt with Hurricane Katrina.

“It’s been really fun and I’ve liked making new friends on the trip,” Freisen said. “I liked talking to the folks whose house we were working on about what it was like when the hurricane hit. I didn’t know that we’d be painting, but I really enjoyed it.”

It’s hard to believe that our week is coming to a close, but tomorrow, we head back toward the Hoosier State with our 13th trip to NOLA in the books. Keep an eye on social media outlets and look for #WRCCNONA17

Posted by Ross Wellman with