Monthly Archives: July 2011

Story Time- Part One

I wish I could take you out for coffee.  I would sit with you on the back couch at Jilly Bean’s, sipping a blended vanilla chai.  I could talk for hours, telling you stories of the ministry, the county, and the kids who have stolen my heart.  We would share laughter and tears as I attempted to show you why I have fallen head-over-heels in love with Crossroads Farm and Hillsdale County.

I can’t, though.  Take you out for coffee, that is.  I’m only here four more days, and two of those will be spent on an overnight trip with my Bible study girls.  Every second is scheduled, and I’m determined to squeeze in as much relational time with my friends and family as humanly possible.  Let’s take a rain check on the physical coffee date, and instead I’ll tell you some stories via internet.  It’s not as good, but grab some coffee and settle in… this could take a while.  Bear with me as I try to communicate my heart, as I try to make you feel a fraction of the yanking this internship has done on the strings of my heart.

Story One: Cole

Let’s rewind to the first day of my internship.  I was packing up my stuff to take to our car wash when the office phone rang.  A boy named Cole*, 12 years old, needed a ride.  “I can be at the Student Center in 2 minutes,” he said. “I have to go! I only have to raise $50 more before I can go to camp!”  I told him I would take him, and sure enough, he showed up within two minutes.

We talked the entire way to Hillsdale.  Actually, I misspoke.  HE talked the entire way to Hillsdale.  In the 15 minutes it took us to drive to town, go through the McDonald’s drive-thru for dollar drinks, and pull into Rite-Aid, I had learned all about his family.  I don’t see my dad very much, he doesn’t really like me. He says I’m annoying. But he’s awesome! Really! He’s so awesome! He works at a car dealership and he said he’d come today. I hope he comes today. My mom’s getting remarried on Friday. The guy’s nice, but I don’t really like his kids. And I think we have to move. I’m excited for Hiawatha, are you?

The car wash started (and ended) very slowly, but before long, a huge red Ford truck pulled up.  It was already practically spotless, but the tinted window rolled down and a way-too-well-coiffed-for-this-county man said “Heard there was a car wash around here.”

“DAD!” yelled Cole.  A quick glance at his face confirmed my suspicions- his smile nearly wrapped around his head.  Suddenly, it was Cole’s car wash.  He started handing people towels and scrub brushes as he handed out orders. “You, do the windows. Zach- tires. TJ, get the bugs out of the front. But be careful! This is my dad’s truck!”

As our little team scrubbed the truck, Cole exchanged small-talk with his dad.  “Dad, I’ve almost raised all my camp money by myself.  Only $50 to go!”
“All by yourself, kid? Really?”
“Yeah, Dad, all by myself! I babysat and did car washes and I’m almost there!”
“That’s great, Cole. I’m proud of you, bud.”  This produced another megawatt grin from Cole, who quickly ducked to dry a hubcap.

When we finished, Cole dad handed Paul his camp donation and jumped in his truck.  As he started to pull away, he rolled down the window and yelled, “Love you, Cole. I’m so proud of you, son, I mean it. Have fun at camp!”  And I thought Cole’s first two smiles had been huge….

*name changed

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I know I haven’t posted at all for a long time.  This internship has kept me fairly busy- regular office hours are the only time I have internet and those hours are packed full of Crossroads Farm duties.  I absolutely LOVE working here.  I’ve fallen head over heels for the kids, the corn fields, the cows, and my coworkers.

My internship is (somehow) over on Friday.  Between now and then I have about 50 discs of photos to sort for our fundraising banquet, and I have to set up an online store on our website… in between leading Bible studies and an overnight beach trip for my Bible study girls.  It’s going to be a crazy week, but I’m looking forward to soaking up every second of it.

God has taught me a lot during this month.  He’s taught me about myself, about others, about ministry, and about my future.  I can’t wait to share everything!  For now, I must get back to these pictures… 5 discs down, 45 to go!

Stretch!

*Deep breath* Wow.  Since the last time I posted, I’ve spent almost a week interning at Crossroads Farm.  I am absolutely loving my job and the people I work with.  Obviously, I’ve known Dawn and Doug my whole life (Dawn is my cousin), but to get to know them on the level of sharing in ministry has been new and incredible.  Here are some “freeze frames” of a few moments in the last week that have stretched my heartstrings even further!

Being a part of my first CRF Staff Prayer Meeting, and praying Scripture over students and people on the mailing list- by name.  Having the chance to write postcards to perfect strangers, telling them we prayed for THEM that day.  Subsequently, realizing that, as a student, they had prayed for ME in that way!

Carrying laundry out to the clothesline as the sky turned orange over the cornfields.  Hearing the cow mooing at me.  Petting said cow after hanging said clothes, and realizing I could live here.

Rejoicing one day because my Nana remembered who I was and helped with dinner… then crumpling into tears on my bed the next night, after overhearing, “Now Gene, who is that girl and why is she in our house?”

Taking two freshman girls to dinner and ice cream.  Talking, laughing, swatting mosquitoes, and building relationships.

Helping run a car wash where only 3 students showed up and only 6 cars came… over a 3 hour span, but somehow making around $40 per student anyway.  Seeing the joy on the face of a 12-year-old as he realized he had singlehandedly raised all but $4 of his camp fee.

Late night Taco Bell run with my best friend.  Laughing together after a month apart.  Getting lost on back country roads.  Taking down laundry with the help of headlights.

Making my bed, making dinner, doing laundry, and feeling independent.  Having friends I can call and make spontaneous plans with.  Sitting in the Arboretum talking for hours.  Long talks with my Papa Baker, the wisest man I know.

Hearing God’s whisper as I sat on the swing, watching the lightning bugs emerge as the sun was setting.  Being gently reminded, yet again, to trust my Father with every aspect of my life.