Love Packages, Day 3

Now is when fatigue starts to set in. Three days of early mornings and hard manual labor starts to wear people out about now.

It’s also when we usually hit the “storming” phase of team building – people are tired, tempers are short, buttons are push-able.

Not only is it hard work, it starts to become boring hard work by Day 3. Because we’re here to help, not to be entertained. Once they’ve been trained on one job, the Love Packages guys aren’t going to switch them to something else, and train them all over again, just so they don’t get bored. So if they were banding packets together Monday and Tuesday, that’s probably what they did today. If they were sorting, they still sorted. If they were packing, they were still packing.

Sydney sorting donations. That's only a small part of the To Do pile behind her.

Sydney sorting donations. That’s only a small part of the pile behind her.

The guys share testimonies on lunch and during a short afternoon break, though, and it really keeps the students going. When you hear about how one little devotional saved an entire village, or how one pastor distributing literature brought an entire island to know Christ, you look at the pamphlets and the boxes differently.

Brittania sorting through the box bin to find a couple that are the right size for her job.

Brittania sorting through the box bin to find a couple that are the right size for her job.

(Ask your friends and your kids for those stories when they get home. Keep passing them on.)

Still, it’s hard. It gets monotonous. It was really humid here yesterday. PB&J for lunch gets old.

James and Benjamin sorting through huge boxes of "damaged" literature from publishers.

James and Benjamin sorting through huge boxes of “damaged” literature from publishers.

But last night, as we were waiting for the dinner clean-up crew to finish up so we could do worship and quiet time, they broke out into song anyway. Steve and his wife had come by to say Hello, and he stood at one end of the table watching our 14 teenagers – even the ones still doing dishes – sing, “To our God, we lift up one voice …”

It’s usually about this time in any trip that we start to see cliques form, and some get left out, and arguments stirred up.

But last night, as I came inside after taking a phone call, I over-heard someone in the circle of students sitting on the floor explaining the “rules” to someone just joining the circle.

“You have to either share your testimony, your feelings, or your first impression of everyone.”

It was mostly funny, but there was some stuff – sometimes painful, sometimes embarrassing – that got voluntarily shared. Eyes were opened, respect was garnered, grace was granted. It was awesome.

Your prayers are being heard, and we’re grateful for them. Tomorrow they have a big shipping container to pack first thing in the morning. Keep ’em coming.