That’s the number of days we have left here at West Florida Teen Challenge. I don’t want you to think we’re ‘counting down the days’ or anything, but really we’re just trying to get ourselves organized for our departure. While we’re definitely ready to hit the road and see some new territory (which won’t actually happen until July!), we also are sad to be saying goodbye to the dear friends we have made here over the winter. And to say goodbye to “our boys” – now that is something I’m not looking forward to.
We came here with a job to do. As an official “Sower On Assignment”, Gary’s task was to head up the installation of the heating and air conditioning systems on their new 30,000 sq. Family Life Worship Center. Here it is –
Unfortunately, this is as far as Gary was able to get –
But even though our “official” task wasn’t accomplished just the way WE thought it would be, we still feel that this is where we were supposed to be this past winter. Gary was able to work extensively with the building engineers to reduce the amount of A/C needed, and thus significantly reduce the total cost of the job. He was able to get all but two of the units and most of the duct board at cost – a huge savings for Teen Challenge. He was also the “go-to” guy for the many volunteers that came and went over the course of the winter (not to mention the major parts runner!) And we were both able step in and fill an unexpected, but very real need in the kitchen! We were blessed by working not only with an incredible staff, but with a steady stream of SOWER volunteers – 24 couples in all along with more than a dozen other volunteer couples. And then there are the boys. We will take these young men with us in our hearts and prayers. Some of them absolutely drove us crazy with their teenage-ness :-), but to see firsthand what the Lord is doing in their lives has touched us beyond measure. Whether they are new in the Lord or growing strong spiritually and getting ready to graduate (or are still in orientation like the 8 that arrived last week), they all need our prayers. They will not soon be forgotten.
Last week all the staff and volunteers gathered in that new building and spent time praying over the various areas and writing scripture on the walls. Gary got there early and wrote on the beam over that pile of A/C equipment –
“I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
1 Kings 9:3
A very good winter indeed.