NOLA MISSION TRIP
We met at the church at 6:45 am and loaded up the van with our luggage and supplies. Mark Satterfield and Kathy Koon came to see us off and prayed for our group. We left Franklin with our team of six- Nancy Goins, Lisa Turner, Terri Phillips, Sandy Hamilton, Jenny Williams, and Dana Tucker. We had a great time getting to know each other on the way down and spent some time reading and re-capping the book- “25 Signs We Are Near the End” by Don Stewart. It’s a book about bible prophecy and end times events.
We made a few stops for gas and bathroom breaks and had lunch at Chick fil-a in Laurel Mississippi. We arrived in Kennar, LA at the Woodspring Suites and checked into our hotel rooms. We took about an hour to unpack, check in with family and relax before heading out to dinner. We had a wonderful dinner at Drago’s Seafood. New Orleans sure knows how to serve up some amazing food. We stopped at Walmart on the way back to the hotel and stocked up on some bottled water and breakfast items for our stay.
Before lights out, Terri led our group in a devotion on encouragement. She shared scripture about Barnabas- the encourager and we discussed ways to lift the spirits of people we encounter in our daily lives.
Tomorrow we are meeting with Matt at Hope Church. We will have orientation, do some cleaning at the church, and shop and prepare meals for church members. We will also go into the Martinique community and invite women to attend the Women’s dinner on Friday night.
We ask for your prayers that we will have opportunities to serve this community and have gospel conversations.
Thursday began cold & windy with trips to find nearby coffee, donuts, protein bars and fruit. Everyone gathered before leaving the hotel to sing “Happy Birthday” to Nancy in honor of her big day- more celebrating to come!
We drove to Hope Church to meet with Matt and discuss what was going on in the church , in the community & for the week we are here to serve. Matt shared his hopes & dreams, his new involvement with a non-profit venture involving the Baptist Association’s Clinic, counseling, foster families and the church. What a heart he has for being the hands & feet of Christ in every part of the community! He also shared with us what his family was going through with a 9 year old boy they have been fostering and plan to adopt- the struggles & hopes for him as he joins the family.
We heard from Matt about what he wanted to accomplish that day in terms of cleaning the church, preparing meals for needy families in the church, and the women’s dinner. Nancy & Sandy took off to Costco & Walmart for supplies & the rest of the group began phone contacts with prospects of the church, giving invitations to the dinner.
When the van pulled back in with lunch (courtesy of Costco) and supplies for dinner prep, everyone took a break to eat, fellowship and rest. The church got a good cleaning, casseroles & salads were prepared for delivery.
Matt & the team left to canvas the Martinique neighborhood. We went door to door inviting people to come to the dinner, to visit Hope Church, and if they were not there we left information on their door.
Back to church to pick up the prepared meals to take to families Matt identified as needing food, prayer & a friendly visit. Meals were dropped off & the team headed to dinner.
Nancy picked New Orleans Burgers & Seafood for her birthday celebration- shrimp, catfish, and even a hot fudge cake to honor the birthday girl!
A final trip in the van to the hotel & a devotion led by Sandy on spiritual gifts brought the day to a lose. We all took ourselves into bed for some much-needed rest.
Friday was a wonderful day. We began our morning with beignets and coffee from Café Du Monde, where we met Pastor Matt to discuss how our day would unfold. We then headed to the church where we shampooed the carpet, gave Matt’s office a deep clean, washed windows, set up and decorated tables, etc. We also set up tables with all the items for stuffing backpacks for the Baptist Friendship House. We delivered a meal to a church member in the hospital and prayed with his mother. We had leftovers from Costco for our lunch at the church.
We then went back into the surrounding neighborhoods handing out invitations to the Women’s Dinner. We then headed back to the hotel for a little downtime before heading back to the church.
Two of us went and picked up the delicious Italian meal catered by a local vendor. Sandy did a fabulous job setting up the kitchen and getting the food ready to serve. Another pair of us went into the community of Martinique to pick up women for the dinner. We played a fun get to know you game. A director from the Baptist Friendship House shared some stories of the women they have served. The Hope Church Women packed 40 backpacks for the Baptist Friendship House with items provided by Clearview Women. It was a beautiful setting and was such a blessing getting to know the ladies of the church and the community. We cleaned up after the dinner and came back to the hotel and fell into bed.
Day four of our trip got off to a slow start as Jenny had to go to the Minute Clinic and was diagnosed with strep throat. She was given an antibiotic and is on the road to recovery. She powered through and joined us on our adventure of taking in the city. We traveled to downtown New Orleans where we rode the streetcar down St. Charles Avenue through the Garden District. We took in the sights of beautiful old antebellum homes, sprawling live oak trees draped with Spanish moss and mardi gras beads, and quaint little villages. Tulane and Loyola Universities were along the tour route and were breathtaking in landscape and architecture! We had a wonderful lunch along our route at a local New Orleans café and toured a lovely cemetery. While standing at our streetcar stop, we had an encounter with a homeless woman. We had the opportunity to lay hands on her and pray over her and give contact information for the Baptist Friendship House and Hope Church. She was very touched and moved. Her name is Nicole and we pray that we planted a seed and it will be watered by more of God’s people in that area.
We got stuck in evening downtown traffic, but made it back to Hope Church in time to baby-sit the children of the church leaders. There were 12 kids total including three infants and two toddlers. We had fun playing, eating pizza, watching movies and decorating cookies while their parents were able to have “date nights”.
Tomorrow will attend service at Hope Church and then hit the road back to Franklin.