I didn't go to Motown Mission yesterday so that I could do my usual duties at the Ruth Ellis Center. I was back to the mission work today. The weather was cooperative – mostly sunny, temperature about 73F. I returned to the construction team. In my absence they had finished off the porch, added porch steps, and put up the frames for the deck railing. Thinking they might have completed all the work yesterday I was a bit hesitant about going today and spending the day in the garden. But the construction team needed me because the pastor, the 3rd adult in the team, had been called back to the church. So the six youth and us two adults got to work. We installed all the spindles in the railing, created a deck gate with latch, and put a handrail on the porch steps. All this – the entire project – was completed by 4:30 today. We heard a bit of the homeowner's reason for requesting the deck railing. She has grandchildren under the age of 4 and wants them to be able to play on the deck without falling off it or getting away.
Though our youth leader has construction experience from working with his father, he credits me for averting a big problem. Much of my job was to guide the youth (and not do it for them) and also make sure things make sense. I caught that our youth leader had a plan for the gate that would not have been able to be opened.
My work for the mission is complete. They will do another project tomorrow morning and then visit Belle Isle and Mexicantown before heading home.
The pastor's wife serves as the youth leader and was in charge of this week. She commented at lunch that most of the books written about youth ministry talk about the abundance of girls and how to keep them busy as well as how to attract boys. She has the opposite problem: 17 boys and 6 girls. Keeping boys busy is different than keeping girls busy. She also said that during work mission trips she has a big problem getting male chaperones. The boys either don't have fathers around or their fathers are too ill to take part. So the pastor has to go to be the chaperone for the boy's room.