While in New Jersey, we were hosted by Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church (PPPC). They have established a "Volunteer Village" in their Education building to host volunteers who come to rebuild under the auspices of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. The church views one of its primary gifts as hospitality. To see a video of this mission and some of the work that is done here, click to visit Vimeo.

In addition to our eleven travelers from Virginia, there was also a large group of teenagers spending the week volunteering. They were from Chambersburg, PA. We had a full house!


Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church

The sanctuary of PPPC was across the street from the CE facility where we would be staying (out of the picture to the left).

It was surrounded by the Point Pleasant Beach High School – the brick building seen on both sides of the church.

While there we learned the distinction between Point Pleasant BEACH and Point Pleasant BOROUGH. (They are separated by a canal.) We would be working on a house in the borough.


Welcoming Committee

These two lovely ladies welcomed us and provided an overview of the facilities. I'm embarrassed to admit that I've forgotten their names, but the woman on the right had only gotten back into her house the week before our arrival.

Unfortunately the facilities didn't include in-house showers (they are still under construction). We had to trek to one of two local gyms to take showers at the end of the day.


Dorms

There were three rooms with bunk beds for sleeping. Compared to previous mission trips for Katrina rebuilding, these are luxurious accommodations.

As it happens, in this particular section we each had a bunk bed to ourselves. That allowed one level for sleeping and one for "stuff."

Betty Dax is pictured. My bunk is on the left with the blue spread.


Blessed

One of the church families invited us for dinner that first evening. Their house escaped damage in the storm. Ever since they have celebrated their good fortune by hosting volunteer groups.

Other church members prepared a delicious meal of BBQ, salads, and scrumptious desserts – including a birthday cake for one of our hosts!


DinnerIt was a delightful evening meal and gave everyone a chance to relax after our long trip in post-holiday traffic.


Jim and Suzy Jones

Jim & Suzy Jones took the opportunity to cool off their feet in the pool.

We were all invited back later in the week for another visit and boat ride, but the remainder of our time was too busy.


Orientation

After dinner we returned to the church for an orientation session. Bob, in the grey shirt, gave us a rundown on everything we might expect. The church had all kinds of information organized for us – including where to get the best ice cream!

Tony, in the green shirt, is studying for the ministry and serving as a summer intern. He told me later that his experiences this summer have gotten him thinking about focusing on mission when he finishes seminary.


Hoffman's

Later in the week we decided to check out that good ice cream. Hoffman's is only a couple of blocks from the church and it is goo-o-o-od!

A "small" cone is three scoops!

Looking at their web site I find that they ship anywhere in the US. Uh oh, this could be trouble!


Vive Showers

I mentioned that the church had not yet finished their on-site showers so we had to visit local gyms. Most nights Skip, Chasity and I went to Vive Fitness.

The folks there were very gracious. We even got a fresh towel every evening.

The other facility that opened their showers to us was Meridian Wellness & Fitness.


Church SupperIn addition to our work at the various sites, visiting groups take turns serving breakfast & supper.

By common consent breakfast was fix-it-yourself cereal, yogurt, fruit, etc. Since the Pennsylvania group was much larger than ours, they agreed to fix two dinners. We were only on the hook for one. The other two nights we would all eat out.

Betty Dax coordinated our supper as well as doing much of the preparation.

The PA youngsters also committed to lead Vacation Bible School on three nights while we were there. This was a service that was much appreciated by the church.


St. Mary's

One of the evenings we had dinner at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, which offers a program, Mary's Table, similar to Lexington's Community Table. This church is just down the street from Point Pleasant Presbyterian.