Monday, July 23–Work and Fun
There was an exciting buzz as we woke up on Monday morning— it was the day our work projects were starting.   
We started our morning with another breakfast prepared and served by the MOB (Men Of Breakfast).  Such a wonderful treat and a really great way to start the day.
After breakfast our routine has become to clean up and then come and check in with our ‘mission commander’— Ken.  
One of the important pieces of SERVE are personal devotions.  It is important for everyone to spend some time connecting with God in a personal and private way— helps ‘launch’ our day and provides fuel for our mission.
Ken does a really wonderful job of preparing interactive morning devotions for the participants/mentors to do together.  Monday’s devotions had each pair look in a mirror to determine what they see…… a wonderfully loved child of God.
Part of the devotions included coming back to the launch pad to have their picture taken– so that later everyone could see what they see when they look in the mirror.
Each daily devo is brought back to the gym and posted under the day’s heading.  Monday’s looks really special.  A sheet from each person with the words from Psalm 139:  “I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made!”   Sometimes we take verses like this for granted– I think it’s important to take time to hear this and see this and it was beautifully modelled.
When each pair/group is finished they once again check in with Ken for any further ‘mission’ instructions. 

Today the instructions had everyone get ready for work.
Work is another key aspect of SERVE— opportunity to live out our love for Jesus Christ by being his hands and feet in the community.  Monday’s work day included going in 3 groups to 3 different work site.   Bonita and Darryl have worked to organize this part of SERVE and have done an amazing job.
One group left to serve at Indian Family Centre.  IFC is a Christian healing community which seeks to honour and respect Aboriginal understanding of life with its gifts expressed through culture, teachings, governance structures and other aspects of life.  It is situated in the heart of Winnipeg’s North End.
Here are some shots from their time serving here:

Jeff is helping decorate packages that will be distributed during a “Christmas in July” event.  He is really enjoying his time at SERVE and loved working there.

Amanda is full of concentration as she and Amber wrap packages.

Here is a picture of the group at IFC:  Amanda, Amber, Trevor, Jeff, Riley—- along with their amazing volunteer drivers– Henk and Fred.

Another group went to help a member of the community with gardening.  They cleaned and weeded and planted.  They cleared out bricks and really got into the work part.

What a cheerful group shot:  Brian (his house:), Gerry, Spencer, Len, Ryan, Donovan, Kyle, Emmy Lou

Kyle really enjoyed getting in the garden. 
The third work site was Winnipeg Harvest.  There we sorted potatoes and prepared them for distribution.  As you can see Kayla really gets into her work.  Later as they gathered around they heard that they had sorted through a tonne of potatoes.  2000 lbs sorted into 5lb packages means that potatoes are ready for 400 Winnipeg families.  Great job guys!

SERVE days are also filled with fun.  After another wonderful meal we headed out for glow in the dark mini-putt.  This year we have been blessed to have use of the Calvin Christian School bus which makes getting places as a large group– quite fun!  Thank you to Ray who is faithfully driving for us this week.

Emmy Lou, Kyle and Donovan are ready to show off their golfing skills!

Emily and Kayla are using highlighters to add some special ‘glow’ tattoos.  We also discovered that it makes great lipstick!

It was fun to see how well the group is gelling.  LOTS of laughter along with support and encouragement.

Worship was another special time– Monday evening we focused on how we compare to the universe.  It’s easy to feel lost, small and insignificant until we take time to reflect on how God made us.  We are made in his image– created as individual masterpieces by a God who knows us.  In fact we marvelled at the fact that God knows how many hairs are on our head at all times— that number changes often and God is always there and aware of who we are and how we are doing.

Psalm 139:  “You search me and you know me…. you know when I lay down and when I rise up…. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made”!

Every evening following worship we have free time.  Tonight a very intense game of hockey broke out.  Here is Jeffery, Jeremy and Zach having fun.

Tonight’s bed time spurred a pillow fight— actually it was a pillow war!  Lots of fun and a good picture of how comfortable people are starting to feel with each other. 

Looking forward to Tuesday!