Day 1 down. Everyone has arrived safely in Pella for TASC 2018. We thank our Lord for safe travels. There are a total of 30 teens here from SD, MI and our own home church. We have eaten, prayed and played games. The teens have 30 minutes until lights out, and they are already mixed up boys and girls, SD and IA, MI and IA, SD and MI. You can hear laughter all over the narthex while they play games and get to know each other. We have a great group of teens once again, and all of them seem eager to work hard all week long. We pray for a good night’s sleep and a day of worship and rest tomorrow.
Day 2 – Rest. God calls us to start the week off with worship and rest, and we did just that. Rev. Doug Barnes preached both services and then lead us in a commission liturgy after our morning service. Many in the church stayed after the morning service, and we enjoyed a wonderful potluck. I was nervous because I didn’t get in line until the end, but the ladies did not disappoint, plenty of great food to make my belly want a nap. Many kids were tired and also took naps while others continued fellowshipping with ping pong and cards. After night church, I showed pictures of the locations we will be working this week and let them know who would be going to which site on Monday. All the kids are in their beds and hopefully asleep.
Day 3 Work – Our first day of work is done, and all the leaders are ready to sleep. Apparently hard work hits over 35’s harder than teenagers! Everywhere I went today I heard people say “thank you and great job.” All the site managers were so impressed with how hard our kids work and how much they could get done in a short period of time. I have worked with teens in this capacity enough to tell these site managers to plan 8 days of work, and we will get it done in 3 ½. I think that is something adults forget, how much energy we had when we were in high school. Just know the Lord is with us, and your teens are representing you and our Lord and Savior well.
Day 4 Praise – “Another great great group of kids! What [a] blessing to work with you all!! Thank you thank you thank you!” This is the text I received tonight at supper time. I love to receive these texts. I don’t get to be at every worksite all of the time, but to know our teens are working hard, eager to help, and representing God with their work, lifts my physically tired spirit! I know these kids are wonderful because I get to spend time with them discussing God’s Word, but to hear others saying that they see what the Lord is doing in them speaks volumes. These kids gave up a week of Fortnite to dig trenches, pick up trash, cut wires, break up concrete and lay conduit. They are putting the Lord first and working hard for His honor, glory and praise!
Day 5 Bars – This is a Christian teen event, so I am talking about food, very important food. Of course when Christians get together, there is always great food (see Sunday post), and TASC is no exception. Also keep in mind when you get sinners together there is always going to be drama, but who knew the big drama on the 2018 TASC would be who hid the monster cookie bars? The kids were pretty bummed as they looked through the kitchen last night for these bars; however, it was actually the adults who really took it seriously and ended up texting the maker to bring more at 10:30 at night. There is now an intense feud over when these bars will arrive and who gets the pan first. As you can tell our focus is sharp. Oh and we did some work today.
We were doing a few items on a deck, started on a relocated home for Habitat for Humanity, continued work for the Well, a local Christian resource center, and a Christian camp south of town. We now have just one more day of hard labor before we can relax and enjoy fun time together.
Day 6 Sleep – What is the most precious thing on TASC? Sleep. And I found out that if you are the first sponsor to ask to go to bed early then the rest have to stay up and watch your kids! My wrap up of the day is a little late because I saw an opening and I was going to take it. TASC is hard work on your body, mind and spirit, but that is one of the purposes. We want to push our teens to work hard, think of others, delve into his/her personal walk with God and come out on the other side stronger. It was the last day of work and they got to see the fruition of a lot of their work. Not all of our worked ended with a “look what I accomplished,” but I feel all teens are leaving with the understanding we don’t always know how God will use our work to glorify Him and bring others to Christ.