Here are a few pics from our trip so far!
Here are a few pics from our trip so far!
Sorry for the lack of of updates but we have been busy and at times had no access to the computer. The weather has been wonderful and let us accomplish a lot. The sun is very hot and when we return you will think we were in the islands instead of the Netherlands; we are very tan! On Sunday we went to a local church for service and really enjoyed the message, we don’t speak dutch but each member of the team had an interpreter. After service we were invited for coffee and the people from the church welcomed us with open arms. We went sight seeing in the afternoon and had a great time of fellowship with the men in the program. It is amazing to see God working in the lives of these young men and how happy they are. Monday was a holiday here and we could not work, so we spent time with the workers and members of Teen Challenge. In the Netherlands it is a tradition that the Monday after Easter they light a large fire and invite friends over. A lot of people from local churches came over and we sang worship songs around the fire, it was great! Tuesday was back to work and we worked from early morning till after 6 pm. Every workday we have a lot of volunteers to help us and it is so much fun. I am blessed to have such a great group of people to work with. As I write this it is Wednesday after lunch and we are hoping to finish the whole job today as we are supposed to have rain for the next 2 days. The last thing I will leave you with is how wonderful the Dutch people are, they are so full of love and joy. As we work we laugh sing and share, it is AWESOME. Thank you for your prayers.
We have been blessed with great weather again and are building so many relationships with all the people at Teen Challange. The people of the Netherlands are so warm and friendly and join in with us to work everyday. Work is progressing at a good pace and we should accomplish our goal by the end of our trip – God willing.
Day 1 was a travel day and the flight was great. The weather was a sunny 70 degrees. We got to see a little bit of Amsterdam and then drove to Teen Challange and meet some of the people at the center and got to bed. This morning we woke up and had breakfast and then had great fellowship with all the other people helping on the replacement of the roof on the center. It is amazing how God has given us a unity in a matter of moments and you would have thought we worked together for weeks. One of the young men participating in the teen challenge program was very shy we when arrived last night, but as he and I worked together he completely changed and by the end of the day we called him the boss of the project and he couldn’t stop smiling. I will update you tomorrow.
Some of us woke up today quite sore from all the work yesterday. Nevertheless, we met for breakfast again at 7:30am along with all the men in the Teen Challenge program. After cleaning up and having devotions, we were back to work on the rooftop.
We first checked the bee hive, to see if we could actually finish getting rid of the old tiles. It soon became very evident that the bees meant business, and were not leaving without a fight. We again called for the exterminator, and waited for him to come back before we proceeded working around the hive.
After all of the tiles were removed from the roof, our next step was to remove the old tar paper and chicken wire which was stapled and nailed into the rafters across the entire roof. This was very tedious, and made walking across the rafters very difficult. By the end of the day we had cleared all of the wire and tar paper.
Day 3 brought on our first full day of work. After having breakfast and devotions with the team and the members of the Teen Challenge program, we split up into groups and got moving. Some people setup with a pressure washer and began cleaning the outside walls of the buildings on the property, while others began ripping off the existing roof the the building.
We soon had a chain of volunteers, stretching from the rooftop all the way down to a wagon full of rubbish. As each clay roof tile was removed, it was passed (and yes sometimes thrown) to the next person in line. We did our best to keep the old tiles in-tact so that they could be used for crafts, and possibly resold to raise money for the program. By the end of the day, we had about 3/4 of the roof cleared! We ended up having to leave the last bit of tiles because we found a huge bee hive underneath them. We called for an exterminator, and he came out and sprayed the hive. Hopefullyl tomorrow we’ll be able to remove it without any problems…
Our second day in the Netherlands brought on a quick morning breakfast, and then a trip to the local church for Sunday morning service. We were warmly greeted by the congregation, and we got to hear an awesome word delivered by the church’s pastor.
After returning back to the Teen Challenge center we had lunch, prepared by Stephan himself! Afterwards, we decided to get right to work, and began installing the scaffolding which would be needed to gain access to the roof that we would be replacing. As the afternoon grew later, and the scaffolding was completed, a volleyball game was started out in one of the fields on the property. Soon, all of the team members were playing along with the men in the TC program. We played on for a few hours…in the midst of the ongoing rain and cloudy skies. By the end of the night, we were all soaked, but had an awesome experience spending time with group.
Day 1 kicked off with the team leaving NYC late Friday night, excited to get to work at Teen Challenge Netherlands. We arrived Saturday morning in Amsterdam, where we met Stephan Barendse, the director of the Teen Challenge center. We made a quick stop at his father’s church, “Keerpunt”, where a BrickThink team had worked in 2008. While there, we had the chance to see the work that the team had completed, and also hear about the amazing things that God is doing in and through the Church in Amsterdam. After we left Keerpunt, we took a quick drive through Amsterdam, and we were on our way to Teen Challenge Netherlands, located in a town named Veelerveen.
Upon arriving, we were greeted with open arms by the men in the Teen Challenge program. We had dinner with the group, then had a chance to see the grounds of the Center and take our first glimpse of the work in front of us…which involved ripping an entire clay roof, repairing the framing, then reinstalling a brand new roof!