by Claire Condrey*
To put in succinctly - CTCYM is going great. I could just leave things at that, but I have the feeling folks might want a little more detail. So read on if you will – if not, just know that all is fantastic out here on the CTCYM trail.
At this time, we have right at 1200 participants at 15 different Living Centers across Louisiana – all who are putting in incredible efforts of service to those we are blessed to help. It’s been incredible to see how much work these youth can get done, especially when you factor in all the rainy days. The work teams have remained undeterred by the weather and have happily sloshed around in the mud while getting their work done. Some of the projects on which the teams are tirelessly working include wheel chair ramps, roofs, floors and other important repairs.
In the Crowley Louisiana Living Center, one of the work teams is re-flooring at kitchen floor that could only be described as rotten before the team took it on. The four-year-old girl who lives in the home has enjoyed the team so much that she is modeling their project. She proudly created her own “similar” flooring project, by carefully lining up her coloring books in the living room and creating a colorful patchwork that would make Joseph and his coat of many colors turn green with envy.
Our teams have been very lovingly received by the communities they are serving. Many of our Living Centers were able to meet with the mayor of that community - our Lake Charles team was even given a Certificate of Appreciation and a key to the city! The communities have also blessed our groups with delicious homemade meals – so far the jambalaya, fried catfish and boudin are leading in the clubhouse as the faves.
In Monroe, the Living Center was surprised when a local resident paid for the entire Living Center’s main dish at dinner– fried chicken! The man that gave this generous surprise stopped by one of the work sites to encourage the team and share that he, though now a Louisianian, was raised in Central Texas and participated in CTCYM as a youth! It’s a small world in the UMC.
We are in the final wrap up stages today and will be returning to our homes very soon. Check back to ctcumc.org in the coming days for a more complete wrap up of this fantastic, life-changing CTCYM adventure.