Tuesday, April 22, 2014

JACOB'S FUND :: McKenna Farms Spring Mission Trip 2013 (part 2)

The key to a successful mission trip is preparation, starting as early as possible. That’s what the available literature advises, and it’s good counsel. Every year The Red Thread Promise launches a variety of mission trips, and planning starts early and in great detail. Jacob’s Fund folks and Christ United Methodist Church (CUMC) began planning three months in advance for the April 2013 mission trip to McKenna Farms, always in close contact with Jessie, the farm’s director.

Early on, we lined up a list of projects that needed to be done: staining new fencing around the playground area, pulling weeds, mulching, and sprucing up the Jacob Beachy Sensory Trail after winter had taken its toll.

CUMC’s Youth Group signed on to join us, their added energy and enthusiasm lending an air of renewed excitement to the trip.

Evening has begun to settle quietly over McKenna Farms. Therapists and kids are going through the last exercises, volunteers lead horses from pasture to barn, where they’ll feed them and settle them in for the night.  

Thursday Evening: Moonlight through the Pines

We’re the advance group. Most of the team won’t leave home until after school on Friday.

Jessie (farm director) and Joyce (lead therapist), greet us warmly as, laden with air mattresses and sleeping bags, we make our way to a large therapy room that will serve as home for the next three nights.
CUMC youth, Joyce and Jessie prepping the fire
We’ve been following the weather closely, as has Jessie. All of our planned projects are outdoors, and rain looks imminent for Saturday. With the bulk of our team arriving late Friday night, it seems our flexibility is about to be tested. We won’t be able to finish the fence staining tomorrow, and with Saturday looking wet, we scratch that task off our list.

No problem. When your focus is on serving the two hundred or more children who visit the farm each week, there are always more than enough projects to keep a crew in steady work. While all of the rooms in the trailers were freshly painted, three rooms in the one-hundred-fifty-year-old farmhouse could use a coat of paint.

Minutes after finishing dinner, as a full moon rises over the towering pines bordering the Jacob Beachy Sensory Trail, we’re ready for bed. With bad weather on the horizon, we need to get as much outside work done as we can tomorrow.

Before drifting off to sleep, Wilma, our mission trip expert makes a prediction: it will not rain on Saturday. 
~ Glenna Fisher
Praying for good weather!

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