Saturday, July 08, 2006

July 8th, 2006

To Aisquith Family & Friends

To everyone that has been praying for us and enabled us to go to Cherokee, the whole team wants to say Thank-you! We arrived back at the Church at 7:30 this evening after a very safe journey home. Special thanks goes out to Ken, Donna, Tom, John C. & John F. our drivers both down to Cherokee and back to Maryland.

I will not be posting any pictures tonight, but as soon as I start accumulating additional footage from the others, I will add them to the website. For now, good night to all and God bless.

In His Service,
- Andy -

Friday, July 07, 2006

July 7th, 2006

To Aisquith Family & Friends

Today, was an awesome day that the Lord has made. Just as the two previous days, we broke into two groups and headed off to the Senior Centers at Tsali and Snowbird. Both teams enjoyed the company of the Cherokee people at each center. Lots of crafts were made and, more importantly, conversations were plentiful and fruitful.

After packing up the arts and craft supplies, we were off again to the Smith's to finish the painting and help with some pruning and housework. Pruning happens to be an understatement! In a day or so I hope to have some video on the website (or so I'll try) of Sam and others chopping away at the crab apple tree with the two-sided axe. It was an awesome sight seeing the tree come down!

The painting was accomplished and the house looks great! Each and every member of the team should be proud of their efforts. Being our last day, the team gave the Smith's a framed group photo that included each member's thoughts and blessings.

We managed to finish work early enough for some souvenir shopping and then get back in time for a great dinner. After dinner, we all gathered for our group devotionals. What made tonight extra special was the fact that the Smith's, as well as the other families from the other team's service were there to share with us. Everyone gave great testimony regarding God's providence and grace in bringing the teams to Cherokee, the work that was accomplished, the relationships we all made while we were here, the seeds that were planted, and most importantly the blessings that we all received from the people we served.

While I fully intend to post more pictures (and hopefully video) from tomorrow's trip home, as well as pictures from some of the other folks cameras, let my just personally say that I found the mountains to be truly beautiful and the Cherokee to be a gracious, caring, God loving people. We leave tomorrow morning to return to friends and family. In doing so, I leave with fond memories and a "tug on my heart" thinking that I have just left home. To Mr. Ned & Miss Mary, as to your kind offer to "come down any time," don't be surprised one day to find one of us sitting on the living room sofa waiting to have another great talk and enjoy your fellowship in Christ's blessing. You will truly be missed!

Enough of my ramblings. Below, find some photos from Snowbird (the Tsali pictures are on Mr. Tom's camera - you'll have to wait!), John & Carrie's trip to Walmart to get the Smith's picture (and a surprise for Ken - see below), and some more shots from Aisquith & Group devotions with the other team members at MTW. Just click on bold text to see the pictures.

Josh at Snowbird

John F. (w/Josh in Background) at Snowbird

Donna & Eric at Snowbird

Ashley & John C. (little blurry)

On the Drive to Snowbird

Where did John Park the car?

Eric & Andy Playing Backgammon (w/Josh Waiting to Play the Winner (Eric))

Eric Waiting for Group Devotions to Start

Ken Sporting his "elf" cap (just ask and he'll be happy to explain!)

The Group Signing the Smith's Picture

In His Service,

- Andy -

Thursday, July 06, 2006

July 6th, 2006

To Aisquith Family & Friends

Today was another day at both Tsali Manor and Snowbird Senior Centers. Additionally, we spent more time at the Smith house painting. We should be able to wrap-up the painting by tomorrow. Everyone has done a great job. I hope to post a picture of the completed project for you tomorrow. In the mean time, enjoy some pictures from the Snowbird Center and our trip to DollyWood in Tennesse. As always, pictures can be viewed by clicking on the bold text below:

Ken & Miss Gladis

Daniel Making Crafts

Ken & Miss Gladis Part2

Rock Solid

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree

Group Shot in the Smokey Mountains

All Girls in the Smokey's

Goodbye Sam?

The Flemings in the Smokey's

That's a Tall Slide!

Tidal Pool


The Happy Couple

Dinner Table #1

Dinner Table #2

Dinner Table #3

In His Service,
- Andy -

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

July 5th, 2006

To Aisquith Family & Friends

Today, was a half-day of work for the group. In the morning we broke into two groups, one going to Tsali Manor Senior Centor and the other, to the Senior centor 45 minutes away called Snowbird. In the afternoon, we all packed up in the vans and headed to DollyWorld - a water theme park on the other side of the Smokey Mountains in Tennesse. As it was supposed to rain all day, it is pouring now at the camp site, the Lord was gracious and granted us a beautiful afternoon to play and rejuvenate, as well as a good meal at the Ponderosa. The mountains truly show His majastey and mighty hand at work. I am looking forward to posting a group shot for you to see tomorrow. In the mean time, please enjoy some more pictures from our work the other day at the Smith house, including several pictures with Mr. & Mrs. Smith. As usually, pictures can be viewed by clicking on the bold text below:

Donna & Josh

Carrie & Andrew

Mr. Smith (Ned) Showing Mary how to Make a Star

Jonathan & Eric

Josh Sporting Some Shades

Mr. Ned & Ladies With Spoons (Mr. Ned carves these utensils by hand)

Mr. Ned & Mrs. Smith (Mary) With Girls

Mr. Ned & Miss Mary

Mr. Ned & Donna With Larger Utensils

Mr. Tom Making the Gatorade (Actually Cleaning Brushes)

Carrie & Allison

Daniel Taking Five

Mr. Ned Talking to the Guys

Miss Mary Talking to Donna & John F (Impersonating a Duck?)

The View Looking Down From the Smith's Driveway

Several of the Kids Playing Bum (Card Game)

More of the "Bum" Game

Carrie Sporting a New Doo

In His Service,
- Andy -

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

July 4th, 2006

To Aisquith Family & Friends

Today, we were back at the Smith house painting. The heat index in the afternoon was 100 degrees! Despite the heat, the team is doing great and Mr. & Mrs. Smith have been gracious hosts. Many folks from the team have had time to talk to Mr. or Mrs. Smith. Mr. Smith has been great showing the team several neat things, some of which Mary will bring back and demonstrate at the pot luck super. Mr. Smith spent time discussing various herbal remedies and showed us how he carves various kitchen utensils out of mountain laurel trees. I hope to post a bunch of pictures from today's experience tomorrow; however, as time is short, here are some from last nights devotionals. As usual, just click on the bold text to see the pictures.

Monday, July 03, 2006

July 3rd, 2006

Sunday, July 02, 2006

July 2nd, 2006

To Aisquith Family & Friends

This will be a recap of yesterday, with some pictures and some information about today and upcoming activities. Let me start by saying this is version two, as I am new to blogging and just lost the last 25 minutes of typing and need to move fast before the dinner bell rings! Pictures can be viewed by clicking on the bold text below:

Allison catching some zzz's
Here is a shot of our very roomy and spacious bus (assuming your seat partner is sleeping on the floor!). As you can see we were all quite tired on the way down (about 12 hours in all to get here).

Second Wind
Here is a shot of some of our gang in front of a local store in town. Bless John C. for taking them out in the evening. The town itself is normally only a couple minutes away; however, a one-lane road and a summer festival make for quite the driving experience! As you can see, they all appear to be well rested and on their second wind!

As for today, after breakfast and devotionals, we started the morning with a walk to the local Baptist church. It was quite the experience from our normal worship at Aisquith. Aside from the usual new songs to sing, we were asked to sing as a group in front of the congregation. What was really interesting was the fact that the sermon is conducted by chanting. Once the preacher started reading the Word, he did not stop till he was finished. More amazing still is the fact that he is 91! After lunch, we took a tour of the Smith house. This is where we will be working on painting during the week. Additionally, we drove by one of the two senior centers that we will be visiting in the mornings (staring Wednesday). Tonight we wrap-up with a group devotional that includes all 4 participating churches; we then meet by ourselves. Oh, and lest I forget, we all get to clean the restrooms and showers- Yes; Aisquith has drawing bathroom duties (thanks for all the gloves Donna!). We'll, now I am even later than before and need to get a few things done before dinner. Look for an update late tomorrow night with pictures from our workday at the Smith household. Until then, thanks again for your thoughts and prayers. May God's grace be keeping you well (and non-stressed) at home!

In His Service,
- Andy -