Today, I turn 30... actually, about an hour or so ago. How's about that? No longer am I in my 20s... I'm a 30something now.
Things feel different... perhaps it will wear off soon enough, much like the tears of most teenagers at most Christian summer camps, but then again, it was the same way when I came home from NYC in 2002. And things remain different then when I went. But this is a different "different", a better "different"... a good feeling "different".
Let me first give some mad props and awards and feel goody moments to the team--these are of course from me, so others may agree or disagree, but its my site, so there....
The "White Boy Thug Leadership Award" goes to Philip. Phil to the Wat to the E-R-S. Few times have I laughed like I did when you did the big pimpin' stance. And beyond that, you led well. Even in the more unpopular decisions (leaving at 730am on Saturday morning?!?!) you led very well. Thanks for putting this trip together. And props to the wife for the notebook.
The "Tall Guy I Didnt Know But Ended Up Being Pretty Cool Award" goes to Colby. Didn't have a clue who this guy was, but he was quite fun to be around. Very solid guy. Enjoyed you being there.
The "Most Likely To Be the Team Mom in the Event of an Emergency Award" goes to Geryl. Happy birthday to you. You brought an incredibly gentle and sweet spirit to the team, and I thank you for that. Nothing against you, Philip or Paula, but had I contracted lyme disease or something, I probably would have called on Geryl.
The "Will Be Breakin' Hearts While Daddy Loads His Shotgun in Seven Years Award" goes to little Anna Lynn. You've got a great head on your shoulders, kid. Keep it up and you'll definately be a Barlow Girl. And with those big blue eyes, you'll have to be to keep the boys away.
The "Hippychick Award" goes to Staci. If you were to have grown up in the 60s, I can totally see the flowers and beads on you. Stac, leading the dribbling session was, seriously, awesome, and I just enjoyed being around you to hear you giggle at your husband and call him "big 'un."
The "Playa to Playa, Pimp to Pimp Award" goes to little Brandon. Though I wasn't there, he apparently was playing basketball with some of the Big G's, even though he's a lowercase g, and someone yelled out "Throw it to the black guy!", to which he responded "Which one?" That's classic. You know, you could have gone either way... either really annoying, or really cool on a trip like this, and you were the latter. Mad props. Enjoy your kabuki mask.
The "Big Sister Award" goes to Paula. I figured it out this morning... you weren't a team mom, you were a big sister. Thanks for your sleeve to dry on and your willingness to be there. You made a difference. Plus, you were just fun to be around, and that says an awful lot.
The "Holy Mother of Pearl Award" goes to Big Josh. You rock. I'm happy that this trip allowed me to hang out with you some, and get to know what a cool guy that Mark said you weren't. Even when you felt like crap, you kept it rollin', which is very admirable. Oh, and you can't beat the comedy when it comes to Big Josh, who shared a bed with Little Josh, paying said Josh $10 just to sleep on the floor one night.
The "We Gonna Make It Do What It Do Baby Award" goes out to Little Josh Blackburn. You my cracka. You were a definate source of comic relief, even when Jordy slipped past you grabbing basketballs because you were stuffing your face with a sno cone. Oh... stick your tongue out and wiggle it. Thats what I'm doing right now. And laughing. Funniest moment for me: Josh, Mark, Brandon and I are sitting in one of the rooms, me next to Josh. Philip comes in and says, "Hey Josh, I need you to give your videocamera to David for filming tomorrow." Josh, with all the sincerity in the world, says, "David who?"
The "Pied Piper Award" goes to Tim. Big man had kids flocking behind him all the time, like they were moons and they were orbiting around the Planet Tim. Truly, though, in my mind, he was the heart and soul of the team--besides God, of course. His passion for the kids, and his "i'm friggin' pumped!!!" attitude was just inspiring, and the bling provided mucho laugho.
The "Did I Just See That? Award" goes to Larry Long. Funny story... he said he was in the bathroom, getting ready for bed (or for the day--either way, he was sweating) and he looked out, and across the way, about 30 feet away in the next building, was a woman standing in a t-shirt and her underlings, and she was cutting a watermelon. He says, "Its like a train wreck... you dont want to look, but yet, you think 'did i just see that?' so you have to look." Larry was the man when it came to the older kids, which for some, the fact that there were no knife fights and gangsta leans meant it was a successful week. He was also a good, quiet, non-snoring roommate.
The "Least Annoying Rugrat Award" goes to Daniel McCammon. Good kid. Great source of entertainment. And also, good knock-knock joke teller.
The "Big Daddy Award" goes to Chuck McCammon. He's a good dad, too. And a great guy... you can see why he's the children's pastor. From what i've been told, he's not good at basketball, but hey, who needs Upward when we're already Home? Thanks Chuck, for being cool, and I'm glad you and I got to spend a little more time around each other.
The "Snugglebunny Techno Geek Award" goes to Mark. I didnt sleep in their room, but he had to share a bed with Josh B a few nights, and Brandon a few nights... and from what I gathered, both boys liked to wiggle and spread out. Mark is a big kid--and I hope to be such when I get 37, which is what he turned this past week... I'm only 7 years back. And he is also a master when it comes to children, and it showed this week. He's on KidStuf with me, and I'm better for it that he is.
The "Dave and Nat, BFF Award" goes to Natalie. Not sure about the "B", or the second "F", but I do know the "F" in the middle makes me smile. She was like my sister-in-arms on the trip (I think I really connect with people who are my age, so that might have something to do with it) and she provided much laughter (even when she didnt think stuff was funny). In leui of my lovely wife not going, Natalie made a decent date. =)
I also have to give props to the Williams Grocery store for their 50 cent water, Twin Mountain Springs, and no-tax 20 oz soft drinks. And their flypaper ridden bathroom. You may hit a swarm going in, but once inside the bathroom no flies for you.
Props to the sno-cone guy, for actually heeding our calls and coming back later in the day instead of right in the middle of our camps. Leche was the popular flavor, though I enjoyed the coconut cream.
Props to Duane Reede, not too shabby of a drug store, open late.
Best cheesecake? Carnagie Deli, definately--of course, I only had that, and cheesecake at Henry's, and the latter wasnt very good.
Best meal? Carnagie Deli's five inch high roast beef sandwich. It was awesome. I wish I had gluttoned myself to eat it all.
Best Moment for Me on the 2005 NYC Valleydale Church (an sbc fellowship) Trip That Did Not Include Prayer, Salvation or Anything Important Like That? The Coney Island Cyclone rides. I'll do it again, too, one day. Perhaps not in the back car, though.
Hardest Part? The Infernal Stairs at PS 63. If given a choice between no fan for the week and not climbing the stairs, it would be a tough decision to make.
My final thoughts really... God is amazing. God uses who He wants, when He knows it will glorify Himself the best. Who knows, had this trip been two weeks later, perhaps Cindy would have come and not Mark, or Colby not coming and both Philip and Jill would have come... but God ordained this trip for this week for His purpose, and I love Him for His plans.
Those kids are amazing... they just want love. Even Gaby. Even Jason. They want someone to make them feel important, they want someone to let them know that someone cares, and I think for a week, we did just that. Would I have liked to stayed longer? Only to build stronger relationships with them... but thats not what He wanted. Our job was to plant seeds, it will be someone else's job to lead Jordy to Christ. To lead Darrin ("Bob") to Christ. As someone said, Christians are not in the business of sales, we are in the business of advertising.
I hope we go back next year, and I selfishly hope that its in God's purpose for me to do so. I also hope The Lovely Steph Leann comes with me too. Thanks to all of you who went--I can't imagine it being any different, and I can't say that I'd want it to be. Even with AC.
And that's all I have to say about New York City for 2005.