Tag Archives: Gateway Academy

New Month – Familiar Neighborhood!

Today was another ‘on the road’ day for us as we officially moved from our November project in Mississippi to our December project in the FL panhandle. Here’s what I wrote over on the “So where are we now?” page –

Nov 27 – Dec 22

Gateway Academy/Teen Challenge
1213 Hope Circle
Bonifay, FL 32425

We worked at this location on our fourth SOWER project, back in March of 2005. Wow – over 15 years ago! After that first time we returned for two other winters as an SOA (SOWER on Assignment – extended months usually for a particular purpose) to help set up the air conditioning in a new building. Although we may have stopped by a time or two, the last time we worked here was May 2008. So while some things seem familiar, others (like almost all of the staff and of course the boys!) will be new to us! And we do like that aspect of things. Hopefully we’ll get to connect with some friends from those good ol’ days and get reacquainted with the area. I’m counting on it being another blessed month!

We getting settled after a full day’s drive and looking forward to doing a bit of exploring over the weekend. Or maybe we’ll just take some naps! But this I know – no alarms for the next two mornings! Yippee!


Oh – Here are the answers to Wednesday’s geography puzzler. Sorry, Doug, you only got 50% correct! But thanks for guessing!

South Dakota

Mondays are for Memories – A Teen Challenge Christmas Story

Since we are heading back to Teen Challenge next month I was looking through some of my posts from back during the time we served there in 2007 and 2008. I found this one that reminded me about what special times those were! Here’s…..
A Teen Challenge Christmas Story – (original post date 01/06/08)

Homemade Cookies. Fudge. Bags and bags of candy. Hot chocolate mix. More Candy. More Cookies. Lots and lots of goodies arrive at Teen Challenge over the Christmas holidays, sent by parents and grandparent of the students. But let me tell you about one box that arrived for one of the 1st platoon boys with Happy New Year wishes for the staff and students.
It came from NYC – overnight UPS. Inside the box were 2 large bags of cooked rice, 2 large bags of red beans and rice, 4 containers of what looked like baked beans but with some added goodies, a pork roast and a bag of gravy. (Oh, and a couple bags of mini-chocolate bars!). The food arrived still a little frozen, so we put it right in the fridge and figured out what day we could serve it. Gary & I were “on” for New Year’s Day, so it seemed the perfect chance to serve this food that had traveled so far and had come with such love. But since we weren’t exactly sure how it all “fit together” we called the son in to act as our guest chef. As would be the case with most 14 year olds, he really had no idea how it “fit together”, but he offered what advice he could and was pleased to be part of the process. Since I had to add some rice to the dishes, I asked him to give it a taste, since I really had no idea what it was supposed to taste like (not being an expert in red beans and rice!). Little did I know it is against regulations for the cadets to taste any food before it has been served, so he refused (very politely, of course!). After much persuasion and assurances that he would not be written up, he finally took a spoonful of the rice. One taste and with his eyes closed, a smile spread across his face.

“It tastes like home.”

So thanks, Mom and Dad, for sending that little bit of home. And for letting us share it with 40 other young men who were longing for “home”.

All the “boys” are back from their Christmas break, we’ve said good-bye to our Sower friends who were here in December, and ten new Sower couples have arrived for January. Should be an exciting month – especially if Gary gets to start some of the A/C –Heating work.

And if tomorrow’s Monday – it must be spaghetti and meat sauce day!