Kenosha Missions Trip Day 6

We packed up and cleaned up this morning. We were able to leave the church by 9am. We headed down to the shore of Lake Michigan to see the Tall Ships that had come in from around the area and world.

We explored the ships and rested on the lawn, overlooking the water. We then drove down to Milwaukee to eat lunch and go to the airport.

We had a safe flight and are happy to be back in NY. Good memories and friendships!

Kenosha Missions Trip Day 5

The girls woke up earlier than the rest of camp because we had breakfast duty. We helped prepare and cook the food as well as serve everyone. They did great!

After breakfast and morning program, we headed out to the senior community center for our last day of work. When we arrived, we were greeted with freshly baked muffins for us to enjoy. Everyone loved them!

We then went to work outside and inside the center. The ones who didn’t have a chance to do ceramics class the day before (Samantha, Katie, Joe, and Kaitlyn) were given the opportunity to do “chair yoga” with the seniors.

The others went outside to organize supplies. We then pulled garlic in the garden and the bunched them to dry. Those projects lasted till lunch time. After we ate, we all went back outside to help burn the weeds we had pulled earlier this week. Then, we had the chance to “pet” chickens. It was a fun last day!

After we worked, we went to a local working farm for a sunflower maze, animals, and “pipe rolling”. On our way back, we went for ice cream.

We then helped prepare and serve dinner. After the meal, we cleaned up the church facility as we had that hospitality task for the camp today.

We then had some free time, the evening program and then a “lip sync battle.” It was more fun! Bedtime was extended to 11pm so the kids have all been playing nicely together around camp. We then had a bonfire with s’mores too!

Off to bed and then travels tomorrow. We have some fun things in store before we board the plane but we will see you soon!

Kenosha Missions Trip Day 4

The morning started as usual with breakfast and morning program. Everyone has been easy and happy to wake up early!

In the morning program, we had fun celebrating Samantha’s birthday by singing and a special recognition. We headed out the the work site where we had two different group assignments. Half of us (Joseph, Hannah, Jaclyn) were given the chance to join the the senior’ ceramics class. The other half was sent outside to work in the gardens.

While the ceramics class painted, the others pulled weeds, thinned the carrots, carried brush to be burned, sorted bread donations, and fixed the road sign. It’s was a busy but fun morning.

After lunch, we weeded and swept the walking path as well as helped with the farmers market set-up. We then packed up and headed back to the church.

After we returned, we grabbed our swimsuits and then loaded again in the van. We drove a half mile down the road to the community pool to relax and have fun after working. There were water slides too that everyone enjoyed.

We came back to the church to shower. The boys then were assigned dinner prep duty. After dinner, we celebrated Samantha’s birthday again with cake and ice cream for everyone!

We then had some free time before the evening program. We reflected on God’s forgiveness and love for us during the time. After the program, we had youth group devotions and are now going to bed soon.

It’s been a great day and we look forward to tomorrow!

Kenosha Missions Trip Day 3

We were up bright and early today. Everyone enjoyed breakfast and then headed to the morning program to focus on serving others with the right attitude.

We then headed out to the senior community center to work. Today was a half-day of work so we tried to accomplish as much as we could in 2.5 hours.

Our first assignment was to hang up the farmer’s market road sign. The selling of vegetables and eggs is again one of the ways the community center raises funds for its programs.

After the sign was hung, we then were tasked with cleaning up weeds and debris on the property. This one area had weeds taller than all of us! There was a lot of pulling, digging, chopping and hauling to accomplish the task! Take a look at the before and after shots!

In the afternoon, we had free time to explore the area. We first went to America’s Action Territory where we had unlimited rides on go carts, number boats, number cars; laser tag games, mini golf, and choices of arcade games. All had so much fun and we stayed there six hours!

We then headed to dinner at Cracker Barrel and everyone downed their plates of country meals. After dinner, we stopped at The Cheese Castle to pick up a few souvenirs from the state. Then we all went for ice cream at Dairy Queen.

We are back at the church and ready for bed. It’s been a fun full day and we are ready to rest!

Kenosha Missions Trip Day 2

We all had a decent night sleep. In fact, all the girls were asleep before the required time for lights out – long day!

After breakfast, we all prepared for the day and went to the morning program. We were commissioned for service and sent out to our work sites. We loaded up into our van and drove about 20 minutes to the Westosha Community Senior Center.

Once we arrived at the center, we met with the directors and received our assignments. Half of the group was sent outside and the other stayed inside. The inside group cleaned and vacuumed and sanitized. The outside group raked and picked up debris on an unused garden (about an acre).

The inside group finished and were then sent outside to help with the raking and weeding. That job involved everyone until lunch time. We even endured a small rain storm but it quickly passed. The group persevered and accomplished much!

After lunch, we cleaned more and then helped with the chickens. The community center sells eggs and produce grown on the property as a way to help support their efforts of caring for the seniors in the area. We helped prepare the site for the market to open soon.

After our work site, we headed for a fun trip to the Jelly Belly Factory. That was fun and sweet! There was a lot of taste testing going on too!

Once back at the church, we had some free time and dinner. The girls had dinner cleanup and washed dishes, cleaned counters, and put away food. They did great!

We then had some more free time before the evening program. We played games and hung out together. We enjoyed the evening program and youth group devotions. Everyone is getting ready for bed as it’s been a long day.

We work tomorrow for half a day before having fun on the off day. It’s been a great trip so far!

Kenosha Missions Trip Day 1

We made it to Kenosha! After our group met at LaGuardia bright and early, we easily went through security to our gate. We waited about 2 hours at the gate, but the time went quickly with exploring the airport, eating snacks, and playing games.

The plane ride was smooth. We were able to sit mostly together on the plane. Some of us read, slept, talked, and waited patiently.

After arriving in Milwaukee, we loaded up in our rental van and headed to lunch. We ate at a local favorite called Kopp’s – the home of the jumbo burger and frozen custard. All the kids downed burgers and custard! They can eat!

Our trip then continued to Kenosha, about an hour from the airport. We arrived at 3pm at The Encounter, the church we are staying at here. We unloaded and set up our sleeping areas. We then had some free time while other groups arrived. Then, everyone enjoyed a pizza dinner.

After dinner, we went the the evening program where we received the plan for the week as well as the assignment for our group. We are working at a senior citizen recreational facility for the week. We are doing gardening, maintenance, chicken care (yes, chickens), and interacting with the seniors at times. Everyone is excited about the chickens. 😊

We then had chapel and youth group devotions with our church. Everyone is getting along nicely and having fun. We are all looking forward to tomorrow!

Preparing to Leave For Kenosha, WI Missions Trip 2019

We are heading to Kenosha, Wisconsin for a week of serving the community in need. We have a group of 8 heading there the week of July 28-August 2nd.

Here are a few trip reminders for those going:

1) Payment – Later today, you will receive an email listing how much is still due on your child’s account for the trip. The trip must be paid-in-full before we leave on the 28th. Please use the online form, which is included in the email, or let me know if you have donation checks/cash to turn into me for your fund account. Thanks!

2) Luggage – In packing, please limit your belongings to one bag. One bag is allowed (must be smaller than 62 inches and under 50lb). All items (sleeping bag/pillows/blanket, etc) must be inside bag. A backpack or purse is allowed on the plane but contents must follow TSA guidelines. The suggested packing list is attached, in case you need it.

3) Electronics – You may bring your preferred electronic devices for the travel down to WI and back to NY only. As soon as we arrive at the lodging facility, I will collect them all. Yes, this includes cell phones, iPods, gaming systems, etc. They will be kept in a secure location and will be returned on Friday at the airport. Remember, electronics are allowed for travel but bring at your own risk.

4) Food – All food and drinks will be provided on the trip. If you would like to bring snacks for the plane, they must be without peanuts and easy to transport. Also, if you would like to have an extra snack while traveling or a souvenir from the trip, personal money must be used for those items; they are not paid for by the trip funds.

5) Leaving for Wisconsin – We are meeting on Sunday, July 28th, at LaGuardia Airport at 7:30AM at the Southwest Ticket Counter, Terminal BThis does not mean arrive at LGA at 7:30AM, park your car, and then come inside to find us. This means you are standing inside at the counter at 7:30AM. The plane will not wait on us. Neither Southwest or TSA require photo identification from your child for the flight; only the boarding pass is needed. Our departure is scheduled for 10:35AM on Southwest Flight 4144.

6) Arriving in NY – We are scheduled to arrive back in New York on Friday, August 2nd, at LaGuardia Airport at 6:50PM. Please meet us at baggage claim for Southwest Flight 2340 from Milwaukee at 7:15PM.

7) Follow us in Wisconsin! – Learn what we’ve been up to each day and see pictures by following my missions trip blog: It will but updated each night around 10PM.

Praying for you!
Leslie 🙂

Austin Missions Trip Day 5

Forgive the short post but it’s late here. We had a busy day and lights out was extended an hour so we are getting to bed later than normal.

Today was another fun one for all the kids. We served at our sites for the last day and then went to a different splash pad after the word day to cool off.

One crew had dinner duty so they assisted in making the food. After dinner was the evening program. We had a chance to encourage one another in our crews. We all connected with those we were with and it was great to share memories.

After the evening program, we had youth group devotions and then the lip sync battle. It was fun to watch and participate.

We were awarded the “Golden Plunger” because we helped and cleaned the best out of all the churches present. We were quite proud of that accomplishment!

We had ice cream and then packed up for the trip home tomorrow. Everyone is happy and resting now.

Tomorrow, we depart the lodging facility at 8AM for a surprise stop along the way to the airport. Our flight is at 2:10pm CST with a 3 hour layover in Dallas. We are scheduled to depart Dallas at 6pm and then arrive in LGA at 10:25PM. See you all soon!

Austin Missions Trip Day 4

We were up again bright and early for the 6:45AM wake-up call. All the kids are great about getting up and ready. We headed down for breakfast. Everyone gets along (I think a first in all my years of trips!) so it’s been real fun to see the group bond.

After breakfast, we headed to the morning program ready to leave for our work sites. All of the crews were leaving straight after the program because of the travel time required to get from the church. We loaded up on water and Gatorade for the day as well as coolers full of food.

One crew headed to the Boys and Girls club again today. They crew played first with the kids outside at the playground. Then, they spent time in the library and read books with the kids (and see a movie). Then, they unloaded donated school supplies from a truck into the building to be later distributed to the children for school. Afterwards, they helped sort the leftover food from lunches as the food is then given to the homeless. They also cleaned up the cafeteria after lunch. They ended the time by coloring with the kids.

The other two crews went to Dream a Dream Horsemanship Therapy. The crew worked by setting up games and activities for the campers that were soon to arrive. They also brushed and prepared the horses to riding. The campers arriving were with SPARK and were on the autism spectrum in some way. The crews worked hard during the camp by interacting and helping the kids. They led the horses around while the campers rode and then helped with cleaning up from the camp. The crews cleaned the horses and stalls as well as help load some items into the trailer.

After all the crews returned from working, we all loaded back into the vans to go to Quarry Splash Pad to cool off and have fun. They kids enjoyed playing and sliding in the water. We stayed for a little over an hour there before heading back to the lodging facility for dinner.

After eating dinner, our crews noticed the kitchen was short on cleanup staff and voluntarily helped with sweeping, cleaning tables, and mopping the floors.

While waiting for the evening program to begin, the kids played card games and relaxed. At the evening program, each child was given a white cloth. After the teaching on surrender, each child was encouraged to place the white cloth on the cross as a symbol of surrendering worries and concerns to God. It was a powerful moment.

During our youth group devotion time, each child was individually prayed over. We had each child sit in a chair on the side of the room and all the leaders placed their hands on the child sitting with us at the time. We each prayed for them and asked God to bless them. It was a real special time for everyone.

After our devotions, the kids got ready for bed and also wrote Care Cards (little notes of encouragement) for each person in our group. All are ready for bed now and waiting lights out! Hey may take some time to wind down more though. 🙂

We look forward to another day of working tomorrow!

Austin Missions Trip Day 3

We had a great day! Today, we started again with the 6:45AM wake up call. This morning was the blaring of Hawaiian music and The Little Mermaid. It’s definitely not the norm but it definitely gets everyone awake!

After breakfast, we went to the morning program for worship and the introduction of today’s theme of courage. We headed out to our work sites again. One crew played and interacted with the campers. The other two crews worked with the food pantry to distribute food to almost 150 families. Both groups were busy and helped the organizations greatly.

After lunch, we loaded into the vans to go to the Main Event, a local place full of games and activities. We had five hours of unlimited bowling, mini golf, rock climbing, and laser tag. Each kids had a game card too to play arcade games. We had pizza for dinner before heading into downtown Austin to view a popular yet unique tourist attraction. If you want to look it up online, type in the Congress Avenue Bats and you’ll get more info.

The sight is right after sunset and we stood on the bridge looking down on the Colorado River to see the thousands of bats fly out to find dinner for the night. It was an amazing sight!

Before we saw the bats, we did enjoy some ice cream from Berry Austin and had a nice stroll to the bridge together.

After the bats viewing, we came back in the vans to our lodging facility to get ready for bed. We are 15 minutes away from bedtime and the kids are still wired! Talking and playing and having fun together. They are a great bunch and enjoying spending time together!

Please pray for Stacey, if you think of it. She’s come down with a cold or infection and is feeling miserable. She’s slept and rested most of the day. We want her well so she can enjoy the rest of the trip and keep making memories with the group. Thanks!