Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Wow, I can’t believe we’ve finished our first two weeks here at Teen Challenge. (or that I haven’t posted anything in so long!) We’ve enjoyed some ups and downs with the weather – today it’s damp and cool – I have our little heater going. But on Monday it was almost 80 and the weekend was just gorgeous. But, no snow – and that’s a good thing!
Just a little about where we are – and what we’ve been doing….
Teen Challenge Boys Ranch is “a faith based and Christ centered military-style program for boys ages 11-17 with life controlling problems. Young men find new direction through discipleship and training on (their) 100 acre farm.” Lots of young men in camouflage marching around or standing at attention. Quite a sight, I assure you!
We’ve settled into our routine here. Gary and the guys on our team are rebuilding a large porch that was blown off during the hurricanes. It’s a big project and they’re doing a great job. The “girls” and I start the morning off in the kitchen. We started with trimming, cleaning and blanching bushel after bushel of collard greens. There is a HUGE garden here – that not only feeds the school, but also supplies local markets. None of us had any experience with greens, so we can now add that to our skill list! Other fun kitchen projects have been PB&J sandwiches (220) for lunch on Thursdays, making 220 muffins, preparing salad for a couple of meals, and other sundry food prep chores. After about an hour three of us move to help at the school. There are about 85 students, all doing independent studies (ACE). We’ve been helping with correcting papers and tests, along with doing some reading tutoring. It’s been good to have a chance to interact with the kids and to see first hand how God is really changing lives through this program and these people. We’ve been blessed at their chapels and by getting to know the staff and other volunteers here.
Here are the guys working on their porch –

And here are the girls, not only making the PB&J’s (and being pretty silly) but also anticipating those collard greens. Many hands make light the work, right?

Last weekend we traveled back to Georgia – both to visit our friends Drew & Francis Gahagan and also to help out with the Chicken BBQ that was being held at Faith Christian School, our first Sower’s project. It was a fun weekend reconnecting with folks! Maybe this weekend we’ll get to see some of the more local sights – I think there’s a Spring Days Festival up in Dothan (AL). Might be fun!

Oh – speaking of seeing things – this is the view out our front window.

Gotta love this life!

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