Some of the Scriptures that teacher, Niki Quinby asked us to paint on the wall in her classroom.
Yesterday was the 2nd day of our great work at John Evans IB Middle School.
Monday was about getting the work started, so it was very stressful and chaotic until we hit our stride and figured out exactly what needed to be done. We accomplished so much on Monday and prepared the entire building to be sprayed with primer.
On Tuesday we hit our stride and many volunteers worked smoothly throughout the day doing final preps for the start of spraying paint on Wednesday. We also finished painting all of the door jams and trim work, which was very tedious–but important–work.
Several side tasks were started on Tuesday, as well.
The Principal of John Evans asked if we would help fix their garden. They have a garden that they use to grow vegetables that are given to students along with the meals we send home with them on weekends. They had compost delivered to the garden but someone stole their tiller so the compost was in large piles in the garden and the garden had become overgrown with weeds. Throughout the day, several of us took turns tilling the garden. Whoa, that’s hard work! We worked all day and are only half done. We hope to finish that job today.
A team of volunteers spent the entire day just prepping the music room so that it could be painted on Wednesday.
I worked with another team to prepare and paint the classroom of the teacher whose faith birthed our connection with this school almost three and half years ago, Niki Quinby.
Here’s a picture of Niki giving her approval of the paint job.
Niki is so very special to us at Journey. Her simple faith that God would provide people to feed the hungry families at her school (back in early 2009) has grown to a powerful partnership with Journey Christian Church and John Evans IB Middle School to the glory of God. God has used this humble young woman to impact the lives of hundreds of students and their families and we are so very grateful for her.
So….we asked her if we could paint her room and she excitedly replied, “Yes!”
She has a picture of a willow tree on her wall that has been there for decades…and she made it clear to us that it needed to go so, after covering her walls with her favorite scriptures, Grandmother Willow was covered up with primer. And Niki smiled..I think, but couldn’t quite tell because she was wearing a mask.
As I reflect on yesterday, two special images come to mind.
One is of Wesley and Kelsie Williams, who came to work at the school while still on their honeymoon. I married them just last week. They are super young people who refreshed our spirits with just their presence yesterday. They showed us what true love looks like.
In this picture I told Kelsie to act like she was “showing him who’s boss”
And here we both laughed because Wesley wasn’t affected at all.
And the second is of Tracey Lawrence sitting on the floor in the cafeteria reading her Bible, praying for the students of the school, and writing Scriptures on the wall. It was a simple reminder of what God is really doing here–of the great work that is much too great for us to have ever imagined it.