Hi! This is Erin writing to you from Slidell, LA!

Friday we arrived at the Lutheran Campus Ministry Center with only minor police involvement… (Fret not, we just asked directions!)

Saturday morning we got up about 7 and I did devotions. As we started south the trees started leafing out and the flowers started blooming in fast forward! So cool!

We lunched at a park near the Mississippi River in Hannibal, MO overlooking Illinois (another state for our rookie travelers!).

In the van, the activities ranged from watching movies together on laptops, munching, playing car twister, great conversations, listening to music, munching, challenging one another to sudoku, groups of 6 playing apples to apples, munching, complaining about the temperature or the bumpy roads (pretty much just to annoy Rod!), munching, trying to read, planning our devotions, munching … We liken it carbo-loading before a big race!

Lewis started our ministry on Saturday night – at Corkey’s, the rib restaurant we ate at, he struck up a conversation with a group of baseball players there to celebrate, just being his friendly encouraging self. What an example of doing God’s work anywhere at any time.

We stayed the night at a great church in Memphis, Covenant UMC, where we had our breakfast and Pastor Carolyn did devotions before heading out.

We got in to Slidell around 3:30ish and met Roma and Jill, who had arrived here this morning and scouted out the sleeping arrangements. We are staying at the volunteer housing at Aldersgate UMC. These are the best bathrooms we’ve had – 4 to 1 people to shower ratio! We unloaded and went our separate ways to go visit some of the families we served on the last trip.

Barb, Ginger, Kathy and I went to go visit Carol Avery. We worked for her all week last trip, and one of the days she made us homemade, authentic red beans and rice for lunch. Mmm mmm mm mm mm…. Excuse the drool…! We liked them so much we got the recipe. Ginger’s church, Faith UMC in West St. Paul, put out a cookbook and Carol’s recipe was in it – she is a author! She didn’t know, so we were able to surprise her with a copy of the recipe book with her recipe in it. She was happy to see us and is excited to tell her friends that she was published!

By the way, if you come hear our stories on May 17th at the Show and Tell dinner, you too can try some!

We stopped for some groceries for tomorrow’s dinner and Pizza for tonight before heading back to home base (Aldersgate) for the night. After Rod’s devotions and discussing the logistics for tomorrow, most headed off to bed… as I will shortly.

Tomorrow we learn what our tasks will be. Please pray for us as we get settled into our places and roles on the job site, and that we don’t limit our ministry to just fixing the tangible, but that we are open to all the needs around us, and that we step outside our comfort zones.

Thanks so much for your prayer and support!