Hancock Seminarian and trip leader Becca Lockwood reported to the church offices today.  All HYG-ers and adult chaperones are healthy and tired after two days of physical labor in hot, sunny Kentucky!

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2013,4,16_BeccainTruckThe bus trip went smoothly–20 hours never seemed so short!  The group watched movies, and the adults slept while the kids played music–saving up their energy for the week ahead!

When they arrived in Neon on Saturday, the Hancock group received an orientation and safety training from one of the worksite foremen, Harrison.  They received their work group assignments and spent Sunday with First Church Neon.

Monday they started work, and all went smoothly.

Two of the assignments are “landscaping” which does not mean the same thing in Kentucky that it does in urban New England!  Much of the landscaping the kids are doing involves raking rocks–clearing a space to make a yard.  They have also been digging ditches and filling them in again with dirt.

One group is building a ramp and a porch for a woman who is now wheelchair bound, and spent the day hammering, nailing, lifting…

When news came in by text and phone message that there had been explosions at the Boston Marathon, many of the kids called home to their families to check in, to make sure that everyone was safe.

Last night at their evening worship services the group talked about the events taking place at home in Boston.  Caring for our neighbors and loving our neighbors…  They came to the conclusion as a group that what HYG does in continuing their work in Kentucky, far from home, is demonstrate our Christian values–to love, to give, to be grateful.    In many ways our effort and activity, our living these values, is a response to the events in Boston and other events like it all over the world.  Where there is hate (everywhere), there can also be love–and the more love there is, the more generosity we show, the less rage has a chance to take root and darken someone’s heart, somewhere, anywhere, in a way that makes them want to hurt others.

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Tomorrow the group looks forward to a day of rest and a potluck dinner.  The HYG-ers will make Boston cream pie and enjoy a meal with the entire First Church of God congregation.

On Friday, the group will be observing a moment of silence at noon in Kentucky, in solidarity with the Lexington Interfaith Clergy Association’s silent vigil on Hancock’s front lawn here in Lexington.  The youth group will be returning to Lexington on Saturday afternoon.

In sum, on day 3, the group is:

Hot, tired, dehydrated, sunburned, allergic.  A healthy amount of suffering–but not enough suffering to interfere with their fun, spiritual growth, and good-old goofing around.

With love, from Kentucky

HYG

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