Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ottawa SERVE 2014: Day 7 - Saying farewell

Day 7, 
Time to close things out for Ottawa's 2014 SERVE. 
It's been a good week and today parting will have it's share of sweet sorrows. 

Our faithful kitchen breakfast crew was at it bright and early again this morning. They have done a terrific job. 

Jonah stayed up all night again as a night hawk.  
I think he did it three times this week.  He must be tired too.  Thanks Jonah for helping out. 

Rachael still smiling away.  
She had another great week at SERVE.  

People gathered around the computer to read the blog. 
I think it had a few more grammar errors last night...
Lucy corrected a few of them.  
Thanks Lucy. 

I'm still smilin' too. 

Annette doing her last morning devotions. 

Everyone listening...well hopefully.  : ) 

We took the time to thank Gerry, Bert, and John (left to right) for their work.  Margaret is standing to the left.  She came in many mornings as well.  

Melanie stocking up on eggs and toast and jam. 

Brenda making her rounds to give out the med's.  

Steve loves to play tag....I think we played it all week long with him.  : ) He's just about to get Kyle.  

We lay out the crafts of the week so that our participants can pick them up.  

Alex doing his final warm fuzzies.  

All week long Mitchell has been wanting to race Mark. 
This morning he got his chance.  
Adam and I raced too...guess who came in last.  : ) 

An intense moment here. 
In the end, Mitchell won.  

Amy gathering her crafts and ready to pack.  

After breakfast we all packed up our stuff...and for some that took very little time....and for others, somewhat longer.  : ) 

Stephanie is figuring out where to put everything.  

Sara, you have a lot of stuff.....

Maddie almost ready to go.  

The boys room is starting to look less cluttered...finally.  

During packing, well maybe at the end of it, an impromptu dance broke out in the basement.  

I asked the group to go outside to burn off some energy, so they went to the park.  Steve and Chris hanging out.  

Deshawn and Jordana and Jessica hanging out. 

Hmmmm, looks like John is in need of some assistance.....??
Nice of him to let people learn CPR on him.  

The swings are always fun, and the weather was perfect.  

Shawn and Deshawn arresting people...maybe it's that name SHAWN that prompts people to arrest others.  : ) 

Ah, seems Mitchell found Ben as a willing challenger to a race.  

Oh, maybe this is game of tag going on...I get it now. 


Our final small group time and parents were invited to attend too.  

This years small group material was once again perfect. 

John and his dad going over something with Alexa and Janika.  

Hey Zach. 
You had a good week too, eh! 

Braidon...was up!  ?

Esther also had a very good time at SERVE. 
Glad to have gotten to know you Esther.  

Awe, the final craft time included a picture of mentor and participant.  

Tyler..growing a bit of a goatee?  

Deshawn decorating his picture.  

At 11 am it was time for our final worship session.  
The group has had awesome worship times.  

We have had many guitars playing. 
I am amazed that the praise team keeps time with all the instruments playing at once.  :) 

A great picture of some of the group up front.  

Action song. 

Is that Days of Elijah, or Written in the Word. 
We really got Written in the Word going fast today.  : ) 

Mark then walked through the week with the group, remembering all the things that "Ronnie Boy" got wrong and how God can help make them right. All part of the Journey in the Kingdom  : ) 

At the end of our time I thank people and we hand out quilts to all the new participants. 
The mentors pick out one that they think will suit their participant.  

This year it was Stephanie


Here's one for Phil...aren't they beautiful?  

Phil receiving his from Niesje. 
Mitchell also received a quilt, but he had to leave early.   

Time for some closing thank you's, especially to our mentors. I asked them to stand up for some applause. They earned it...and more.  

Our final event, is gathering in a circle and singing, 
"My friends may you grow in Grace."

Always a special time.  

And then it's lunch time. 
Pizza and watermelon. 

Hanging out and digesting lunch before it's time to go.  

And now it's time to go. 
The tears start flowing.  

We mingle about and soon all our participants are gone. 
A strange feeling actually.  

Sarah, my dear Sarah. 
A gem in the jewel of life.  

Jordana saying her goodbyes. 
You look sad Adam.  

Joanna and Lucy, I think, saying goodbye to Alex.  

Lucy saying goodbye to fellow mentor Nicolette?  I think?  

Once the participants left, we cleaned up the church fairly quickly.  Lots of things to put back and pack away for another time.  

By 2 pm we were done, and the mentors were free to go, and our planning team met at my house for a time of wine and cheese and reflecting on the week.  Hints of the NEXT SERVE start to creep up, but they are only hints.  : ) 

So, this draws to a close SERVE2014. 
Words cannot describe the many emotions that we all go through during this week. 
We see so many good things happen with our participants, and our mentors too.  I look forward to going through Joy's pictures and Jonathan's video soon to remember the week. :) 

I'm so proud of both groups.  
Each learns from the other. 
I'm also proud of the parents and care givers who care for our participants day in and day out.  
We only see part of what goes on. 

So, I will end by thanking again, our planning team for all their work, our mentors for their work, 
JOY for her work in getting these pictures ready for the blog, and Jonathan for taking video.  
Thanks Christine for your work with the praise team.  Worship was awesome this year.  

Thanks to those who drove for work sites and fun events, 
thanks to an awesome kitchen crew, and for my church for allowing us to hold this wonderful ministry in Calvin CRC. 

Hopefully we will do another SERVE next year. 
We are always looking for volunteers, so if you want to know how you can be one, email me at  
I'd love to chat with you more about that.  

May God bless you all.