Chicago Trip | Day One (3/30/2016):
Today found us, your Chicago Construction Mission Trip Team, ready to pull out from First Baptist Church Maryville around mid-day bound for Avondale, Northwest of downtown Chicago, ready for Service and Ministry. We are a team of 5, serving over the course of 5 days. For several of us this is our first ever Mission Trip. We arrived at our site for the week, Resurrection City Church, around 6 p.m. where their Pastor there, Pastor Dave, was awaiting us. This Church Plant sits within a public school and our service this week entails rehabbing one of the school's classrooms. We went in to scope out the environment to see what exactly needed to be done while we are on site. We made our Home Depot "shopping list" which we will hit in the morning before arriving back on site. After we were done at the school, Pastor Dave wanted us to try out some local cuisine and we enjoyed a nice dinner all together. We were then on our way to our home for the next several days, Rockwell Community Center, where guess what!? Maryville Christian School's 8th grade class is also here for the week participating in their own Mission Work. It's so great being able to share this space with them. It is now about 10:30 p.m. and we are all working on getting settled in to our various spots within the Community Center. Till tomorrow....!

Chicago Trip | Day 2 (3/31/2016): This morning started off with all of us together over breakfast. A quick, "How was your night?" "What else are we looking for at the store this morning?" to get our day off on the right foot. We started first thing, bright and early, at a local Home Depot to get the rest of our supplies needed for the week. We then arrived at the site by around 9:30 a.m. We unloaded and started right in with cutting wood, mudding, caulking, working on the counter top, painting doors, painting walls. We have discovered we collaborate the best when we divide and conquer into our talents and skill sets. Today we had an opportunity over the course of the day to meet others from both the Church family and the school community. Some just wanted to stop in and say "hi" or "thank you" and some were such a blessing to stop in to lend a couple extra hands for a few hours. We were so grateful! What we are uncovering as we go here is that there is a grander story taking place. The Good Lord has brought us here to do His Work. To be His Hands and Feet out in the open. Lives are being changed here as the unchurched see the Church serving. Them. It's almost 10p now and we are just settling in for the evening and while although today was a long day, today was a good day. And we're already looking forward to tomorrow.

Chicago Trip | Day 3 (4/1/2016): Chicago Trip | Day 3 (4/1/2016): We are worn out tonight. Today found us working nearly straight through lunch and dinner and a total of 15 hours. BUT, we got so much done, so much progress was made, and more lives are being touched by us being here. We may be going to bed tired but certainly happy of what's happening here and very grateful to serve.

Chicago Trip | Day 4 (4/2/2016): Believe it or not, we started our day off this morning with snow in Chicago! It has been pretty gloomy and dreary the entire week and as we've gone along the temperatures have kept dropping. And this morning it finally got cold enough to snow. BUT, things are warm and bright inside at the construction site! Coming into town 3 days ago, we anticipated needing only half a day today to finish up our work. Then, going into today we anticipated we might need until 5p and at around 6:30 p.m., Angela, the culinary teacher who's room has been transformed, arrived to see her "new" space (and P.s. Just prior to her arrival, guess what? The sun came out!) Her reaction couldn't have been any more grateful, expressive, excited, eager to share what has been done, with her students and fellow teachers. The Good Lord was at work in a mighty way this week on the northwest side of Chicago and the Good News is spreading. 
Tomorrow we will join the members of Resurrection City Church for Worship before heading back to FBMaryville.

Chicago Trip | Day 5 (4/2/2016): As always, it has been a pleasure representing First Baptist Maryville while being the hands and feet of our Good Lord. This morning found the Chicago Construction Mission Trip Team on its final day. We awoke and prepped The Rockwell Community Center for our departure, packed up the vehicles, and headed off to one more supply run for a few minor touch ups then back at Carl Von Linne Elementary before joining Resurrection City Church for their morning service. They are a church plant that just celebrated one year, small in numbers but mighty in spirit and desire and we really enjoyed the opportunity to worship with them this morning. After the service, we said our goodbyes and were back on the road headed for home. We are now safely back in town and the lives of the five of us have not only had an opportunity to impact others, but we ourselves were impacted as well.