Saturday, June 7, 2008

Poolside Fiesta!

Today the Huntington Ridge swimming pool opened for the summer, and we were there to celebrate! We began by setting up tables and chairs under some shady trees. It was a hot day, but clear and beautiful. Thank you, Lord!

Tim fired up the grill as volunteers began to arrive. We welcomed Sherry, baby Wesley, and Mary Lee from Perimeter Church. They were the first on-site missionaries living at Huntington Ridge. Keith and Cornelia Harrell -- new MSC missionaries like we are -- and two of their children came to help. Pastor Carlos showed up with several members of his congregation from Iglesia Bautista Belen (Bethlehem Baptist Church). We couldn't have done it without these wonderful, generous people!
Tim Cummins, our supervisor at Whirlwind Missions, was a huge help -- as always. He patiently taught a bunch of us "green" missionaries how to run a party. First blow up balloons and transform them into animals, hats and other fun stuff.
Next, take all the food Cathy has carefully laid out on the table . . .
and hide it UNDER the table! Create eight platefuls at a time -- controlling the portions so you don't run out of anything. The minute you take a cup out of the bag, put ice in it. That keeps it from blowing away. Let the fiesta begin! Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, babies thronged into the pool area. We started filling plates. Tim cooked eight dozen hot dogs, and they went fast. We loved seeing our friends and providing something to lighten their lives. One of the young volunteers from Iglesia Bautista Belen enjoyed her first try at face-painting. She and Andrei decorated a lot of cheeks with hearts, butterflies and other cool designs.

Mothers and babies sat in the shade to visit and watch their children swim.

Then it was time for Andrei's latest car cake creation!
Pastor Carlos asked a blessing over the pool, the soccer court, the food, and all the people at the party. He prayed in Spanish and then translated his own words into English as he went along. Since most of the parents speak only Spanish and most of the children are more comfortable speaking English, this was a wonderful way for everyone to join in prayer.
This father got into the pool with his children. Now that's a great daddy!

Emily sums up the sentiment shared by everyone. This pool party rocked. It was NUMERO UNO in fun, food, family, friends and fellowship!

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