Over the last few days, 11 kids, 6 adults and 4 cars drove almost 1500 miles (there and back) to do a missions trip in Baltimore, MD.  We left at 5:00 am on July 6.  877 miles on day 1 through Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, a small section of Georgia and then we stayed the night at Morris Hill Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN (and we lost an hour when we got there).  They had a really nice rec room and a gym upstairs.  Our kids thought they'd made it to Heaven.

Day 2 was a 650 mile journey through Tennessee, Virginia, a tiny section of West Virginia and then Maryland. We arrived at Stillmeadow EFC in Baltimore, MD as a wedding was taking place, so we went to visit the Kings (who used to live in College Station) about 15 minutes away.  Our group from Hope EFC stayed on the floor of the upper classrooms with a group from New Jersey.  37 people and ONE shower for a week and believe it or not, the shower schedule actually worked pretty well.

We put on a Block Party, passed out VBS flyers and did prayer walks, put on a VBS for about 50 kids for 4 nights including creating all of the decor, games and craft materials, distributed food and paper goods from the Food Pantry, passed out more food on another day, did a neighborhood clean up and sang at a local nursing home.  There were at least 5 conversions to Christ that we know of and we made lots of smiles happen this week.

Wednesday was a free day during the day. Some of the Texas crew went to Washington DC. I got to go with DudleyGrunt (Dave Self) to go find some caches that were listed on Opencaching.US, Terracaching.com and Geocaching.com.  There were regular caches, virtual caches, an earthcache and an event set up in my honor.  There were Munzees along the way, too.  Some of the New Jersey folks spent the day around the Baltimore Harbor.

When we left on Saturday morning, our Texas group went back to Washington DC for more sight-seeing after taking a ride on the Metro (and I picked up a few more virtual caches and Munzees). There is so much history around this area, you just can't do it all in one day. We got to stay in beds and on couches at some relatives/friends of our Youth Coordinator in Virginia.  We had our group spread out among 3 houses, so we only had a couple people at a time that had to share showers. Whoop!

Sunday was the short drive, if you can call 650 miles short, to Tennessee again to the Baptist church.  Monday was the long drive home (850 miles), but we got our hour back.  When we got back to Hope EFC around 9:00 pm, there was a nice welcome back party for us.  Ice cream and sodas!  It was a long week and we had a lot of fun, but we also served a good purpose in Baltimore and it was very rewarding.  But...it was soooooooooo nice to be back in my own bed.  After we catch up on sleep, we might be ready to do this again.