Today our group got to do something a little different. After two days of canvassing neighborhoods, we jumped on the bus to head up to Crossroads Retreat Center and Camp (CRC) in Pleasant Grove, NJ. The trip took about 2.5 hours, including the time we spent recovering from a wrong turn, another detour required by a bridge that was too low for our bus, and a detour that turned into a stop when we stumbled upon a school in the middle of a fire drill and were asked to park while the students were gathering in the parking lot.
Once we finally arrived, we got right to work with various projects around the camp. Hurricane Sandy knocked down over 1,000 trees on the camp’s property, so a group of us spent time clearing downed limbs and trees, while taking breaks to rehydrate.
Other groups worked on painting and staining projects, moving rocks, and raking leaves. After grabbing sack lunches supplied to us by CRC and hastily changing in shifts on the bus, we headed back south to Seaside Heights, where all 315 of us showed our support for the citizens of New Jersey by singing “Lean on Me” flash-mob style. It was quite an experience for all of us!
Once we got back from the beach, we grabbed our last dinner in NJ and got try for closing worship. With music by singer Dez Childs, expressions of thanks from our partners in NJ, a great message from Bishop Brian Maas, stories shared by trip participants, and the chance to share the Lord’s Supper, it was a great evening.
Now we pack our things and prepare for our return to Falls City. Our time in New Jersey has been a blessing to us all, and we pray that we have been able to bless others in return. We look forward to sharing our stories with you soon. Thank you again for your generous support and your heartfelt prayers for all of us who made this Journey to Jersey.