Thursday, August 22, 2013

Today was a really busy day at the Root Cellar.  It started with our "Goers" coming up for the day and making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and slicing three watermelons for their dessert.  During that time the rest of the group went down into the neighborhood and gathered up the kids to walk them back to the Root Cellar for Vacation Bible School.  We had 92 (count 'em) 92 kids today!!!!  The group of people who made the sandwiches stopped at around 60 or so and then had to go back into the kitchen to make even more.  However, that was still not enough because while the kids were being served, we ran out again!!   We discovered that some kids were just coming through the door undetected and joining the kids that were already there.  The reason being?  The school supply store!  After we caught on to what was happening around us we got a little bit more hip to them, but not by much!!  : )   We had a wonderful day today with a bible story, coloring pages, games and we allowed the kids to earn as many points as possible because this was the last day they could do so.  Many of them worked very hard to earn those extra points so they could walk away with an arm full of purchases from the store.  Yes!  The store was the highlight of the day and a huge success.  The kids walked away with book bags, binders, pencils of every color, pens of every color, rulers, books, crayons, highlighters, composition paper, notebooks, paper for the binders, sport bags, erasers, folders, flash cards and pencil boxes!  I'm probably missing something but I know I came close to naming everything that was available to them.  They purchased these things with their Bible Bucks that they earned throughout the week.  Overall the week was a smashing success.  God was glorified, we were blessed.  What more could someone ask for?  The Root Cellar wishes to extend their thanks to the entire church family and word on the street is that "Our Savior Lutheran Church has been the most faithful church partner the Root Cellar has had these past seven years!"  That, brothers and sisters, was a direct quote from staff member Christine Ming.  Christine would also like for anyone who has ever served at the Root Cellar to email her at to let her know why they went, what they thought about the place and would they go again.  This is going to go in their newsletter so that the local churches in their area can  see that local churches (we're considered local) do support them and treat them as part of their missions program.  Unfortunately the local churches around the root cellar do not support them as much as they could or just not at all.  We will pray that the christians in the Portland area will be spurred to action!  Enjoy the photos.

Today the Root Cellar kids took their weekly trek to the beach (in this case Sebago Lake) and they were accompanied by our team.  I, however, was not in attendance.  I stayed behind and worked on the school supply store and I did some cleaning for the Root Cellar itself.  The kids had a great time as they stayed in the water most of the day, and I'm told that our team, particularly the teens, joined them.  They left the building around 10:00 AM and arrived back at the building around 4:00 PM.  A great time was had by all.  Thanks to the generosity of all of you "senders" I can report that all the kids will probably walk away from the store with a new backpack and assorted supplies for school.  All of the kids have earned points or "bible bucks" towards purchasing what they need for school and I am also happy to report that they were all very eager to earn their points.  Once motivated, they actually work very hard.  Tomorrow is our last day and the day the store opens.  We are all very excited about the store and disappointed that we have to leave.  But, there's always next year.
Below are just a few of the items for the store.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Day Two

Day one was quite chaotic for the OSLC volunteers and Staff. We brainstormed for ways to improve  grouping, locations and cut out some of the NOISE!
Today in the morning we sang songs led by Danah and Kerry. Our super helpers got all the kids  ready and settled down for the singing and Bible lesson.  Our helpers today were Max, Andrew, Noah, Micah, Marcel, Jesse and  Harris.  Their full participation really set the tone, for singing and the Bible lesson.  We talked about Jesus washing the disciples feet.  He showed us how to SERVE and LOVE  each other. This is also shown by the service and love by the staff at the Root Cellar and from and all the many volunteers.  Next we divided up fourth graders and older kids and those third  grade and under.  The older kids did games  with Danah and Jane, while the younger  did crafts with Kerry and (Denman).  After about 20 minutes the groups switched places.  Among the, younger kids was  a little Asian boy, whose his father told us he speaks no English.  He followed along when we did all our activities..  I helped him by telling him when to change chairs during the games.    Can you imagine how difficult  would be  not to know any English and come into a group of fifty noisy kids from many countries?  They seem to be mostly from Somalia and So. Sudan.  There  was one girl  Iraq.,  I have no doubt .he will soon be speaking some English.
Our lunch makers we Dan S., Bob and Sandy R. and David  They made grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, plus drinks.  The best part for us is they also made all the sandwiches to take to the beach tomorrow.
The children and the OSLC helpers did a service project about an hour after lunch.  After all the daytime helpers left to go home David, Harris and I set up the "School Supply Store" for Thursday.   A huge Thank you to all the OSLC givers for all the School Supplies - it is truly an amazing gift of school supplies we will be giving.  They are being paid with fake $$ to "buy"  all the supplies learning counting $$ skills.
Last, David made us a delicious chicken dinner.  We had Peggy Hinnman join us for dinner She is one of the five paid staff members the Root Cellar.  She has a love of Jesus and all the people here.
Also, we'd like to thank Emily for help on our first day!
We thank the Lord for this special day.

Monday, August 19, 2013

I am sitting here, at the Root Cellar with Jane Moody, Tracy Klouse, Harris Moody, Lisa Werner and Jesse Anderson after a long day of arts and crafts, games, and an afternoon in the park.  Monday's in the park, as it is known, consists of hamburgers, hotdogs, two types of cold drinks, fruits and goodies (today was brownies and cookies) for all to enjoy.  Plus there was face painting (Kerry and company are still there painting faces) basketball and gimp!  We had almost 50 kids for lunch and many of them earned extra points for helping out during the day.  In case you haven't heard, each child can earn money (Bible Bucks) for attending VBS, memorizing a Bible verse, helping to clean up or being a helper during arts and crafts.  Whatever the reason, each child must earn their Bible bucks if they wish to go through our "Back to School" store which is full of book bags, pencils, pens, paper, binders and anything that is remotely considered to be school supplies. This has been a real enjoyable day and, 5:49 PM, the Root Cellar is closed.  We are going to take a group photo and I will post them later.  Keep us in your prayers for a very fruitful week.
                                                                     Micah, Marcel, Matthew and Harris
                                                                                Tracy and Company

                                                                                      "Bottoms Out....."
                                                                            "Funny Face, I love you!"
                                                                                    Getting my face painted...

                                                       "Spider man, Spider man; does what ever a spider can!"
                                                                                Face painting by Danah
                                                                                      Harris and Tracy
                                                                                      Clark at the Grill
                                                                 Lisa handing out hotdogs and hamburgers
                                                                                       Harris and Jane Moody