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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

People Time

In addition to using my Spanish and hanging out with 16-year-old Carla, my favorite part of Puerto Rico was the quality time that I spent with my team. At the end of every day we had team devotions and worship, and then the teens left and the leaders had prayer, discussion, and laughter.

The 8 fearless chaperones for the 18 youth::

Myself, Laurie, Marlane, Michele, David, Tony, Jefe, and Scott

On the 1-hour boatride to the pristine Isla de Caja de Muerto (Coffin Island)::

The island was a very beautiful place. We packed lunches and were there from about 10a to 3:30p; and I was in the water almost five of our five-and-a-half hours there. It was my first experience snorkeling and I loved it. Even after I encountered the sea urchin, who left quite a few stabbers in my arm, I took a Benadryl and went back in!
We all felt a little guilty taking a vacation on our first full day in Puerto Rico, but it really was bonding experience that had a positive impact on our unity as we worked and ministered together later in the trip.

Enjoying the beauty of God's creation::

The Caribbean Sea

Shopping Day in the downtown square of Ponce::

Noelle, Megan, Katrina, Myself, Michele, Lauren, Tiffany, and Paola

At the famous Casa del Frape, where they had the best fruit smoothies:

David, Jacob, Myself, Levi, Megan, and Elizabeth
I believe we visited this four times in eight days. They had 71 varieties including: Orange Lemon, Strawberry PiƱa Colada, Carrot, Mango Papaya, Peanut Butter Banana, Tropical Fruit Mix, Kiwi Coconut, etc. So good!

Jefe and I showing Matt, Levi, and Derek who is the Boss in Eurche::

In the San Juan airport with some of the girlies before our departure home::

Myself, Tiffany, Katrina, Brittany, Lauren, and Laurie
We had matching shirts for our travel day to Puerto Rico, our travel day home to Indiana, and for the 4th of July when we went to the rainforest. It definitely was much easier to collect 26 people when we are wearing matching yellow, orange, or blue shirts!

Having been out of the youth group now for three years, there were only two or three of the teens that I actually knew well. I'm not a regular youth group sponsor, but Pastor Tony asked me to put together a reasonably cheap and reasonably safe missions trip because I've done it already many times and I know what I'm doing. I agreed to plan but couldn't agree to go because I already had Mozambique and Cambodia on the calendar. Then when Cambodia was canceled, I felt God really pushing on my heart to join the PR team. I truly am grateful for the opportunity to go and become much better acquainted with 25 awesome people.

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