The following updates were sent to the congregation over the course of the service trip to Freeport Long Island last week, February 16th through February 20th.
Most of these updates were written by Phoebe Seale.
Click on any photo in the gallery above to see a larger version.
Sunday, February 16th
On Sunday, the CRC crew hit the city! We navigated the subway system and the confusing streets of New York City without losing any of our 50 people. We visited the recently finished 9/11 Memorial that was built directly in the place of where the towers once stood. It was an incredibly reverent and eye opening time where we saw the immense amount of people that the crashes affected. Andrew Schuman surprised us all by visiting for the day. He also gave his testimony at the Hungarian church we visited in the evening. Worshiping with our brothers and sisters in Christ, in their native language and in ours, was meaningful in every way. Even with the language difference, we still worship and honor the same amazing God, and we can always find unity in that. Six of the youth from that church are with us for the week. After a quick tour of Times Square, we piled into our vans and headed to Long Island. We arrived at the First Baptist Church of Freeport, unloaded, and got settled in for the week.
Monday, February 17th
Monday was our first “workday”. Most of us spent our time doing some much-needed clean up around the church. We easily filled to overflowing the dumpster that Pastor Phil brought in for us. It was quite rewarding to bless the First Baptist Church of Freeport in this way since they have played such an important role in rebuilding their community in the wake of Super Storm Sandy.
Two other teams of workers were out in the community doing post-storm reconstruction—one repainting and the other re-insulating houses that had been damaged during the storm.
In the evening we had a time of worship in which Kevin Schwartz presented a powerful message on the topic “What is Wisdom”.
Tuesday, February 18th
Tuesday was definitely a day of diversity for us in Freeport. Groups were all over the place doing a multitude of things. One group went across the street to help out at the local soup kitchen. They helped prepare and serve the food, and it was a great opportunity for them to talk to the volunteers and really get a good grasp of their ministry. A few of the ladies had been working with this particular group for over 40 years! Oh the stories they had to tell. Overall, we fed about 90 people.
At the church, two groups were gutting and sheet rocking classrooms, and we are excited to see the finished product over the next two days. Ceilings were pulled out, new insulation and sheet rock was installed and rooms were painted. The church also got a good deep cleaning, which was especially nice since it has housed so many people over the last year who have been helping others in the community. It was a blessing for us to have the opportunity to give back to the church that has been so giving to its community.
Two groups were offsite doing different jobs. One was a house which we were in last year. We remembered the demolition and stripping of materials we had done. This time however, it was install insulation, sheet rock and then lots of painting. Another group removed the damaged insulation from a porch floor and then reinstalled new. It was done totally outside – yikes it was cold.
The families were so appreciative of the work our crews got done.
Wednesday, February 19th
Some may think that it’s a “Hard Knock Life” for us here at the church because of the way we have been getting stuff done. We had crews literally on their hands and knees scrubbing the floor at the church. It was a group effort and involved much singing and dancing even by some of the adults!
Several other groups painted a variety of rooms and closets in the church, while yet another group built some much need storage shelves. The two teams working on the classrooms continued their sheet rocking, mudding and taping under the leadership of Pastor Phil and Chris Audino. The overall transformation of the church was amazing! What an improvement!
A different group than the day before worked at the soup kitchen. In addition, the teams completed the painting, insulating and sheet rocking of the storm-damaged houses started the day before.
On Wednesday we heard from Chris Audino as he finished our series of lessons on “The Heart of Wisdom” by unveiling for us “The Person of Wisdom”, Jesus Christ.
Service Trip Reflections
On Sunday February 23rd, a few of those who attended the service trip shared about it with the congregation. Click here to listen to the reflections of Kevin Schwartz, Walker Tuttle, Katie Willeman, Sarah Ball & Drew Wong.