Archives For Backyard Mission Trip 2010

Dear 2010

December 28, 2010 — Leave a comment

Dear 2010,

Like most years you started with much ambition, goal-setting and prayer.  Like most years though things happen and the plans started usually ended before you began Spring.  2010 you move too quickly as I saw the birth of my fourth child and then the other children turn 2, 4 and 5.  You are relentless in how you keep moving forward and before I could even get a handle on you now you are leaving.  You did not bring me much comfort this year as I saw Haiti become devastated and people dying all over the world.  2010 you are unforgiving.  I wish you would slow down so I could tell all of the people how much I love them and miss them.  2010 you did bring a lot of good to the ministry here as we had a few amazing souls baptized: Meredith, Hannah, Rebecca, Morgan, Derek, Elijah and probably others I have forgotten.  Friends graduated, 2010, and moved away quicker than I could say good-bye.  2010I am not sure what to make of you.  You are an enigma wrapped up in a mystery.  I wish you would not leave so fast though because next year I turn 30 and I am scared, nervous, and confused about the possibilities that are ahead.  However, if my 30s are going to be better than my 20s then I am ready for it but if you would just wait 2010 then I could prepare myself for 2011. Like most years, 2010, you brought both life and death, sadness and happiness, frustration and fulfillment which leaves us wanting.  I just have a request from you then I will leave you alone.  Will you talk to your friend 2011 before you leave and tell him that I want a better year?  Will you tell him to slow down so I can enjoy my kids better?  Will you tell him to bring reflection, contemplation and celebration to my life so I can be all that I can be for Main Street and my family?  Good-bye 2010 and I am thankful you came into my life…I will think about you often.  

Your participant,

Robbie Mackenzie

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This has been such a wonderful experience and I am glad our Backyard Mission Trip was such a success.  This week we had about 15 regular workers and we worked probably 35 hours so we totalled 420 man hours of service.  Thursday, because of the morning rain, we decided to make cards for our widows and widowers.  I thought that we would miss the point of service if we did not serve our own people in some capacity.  In the afternoon we picked up trash on Main Street’s Adopt-a-Highway section of 431.  Trash was wet and it was slow going but we picked up close to 50 bags. 

Friday we spent the morning painting a lady’s porch who had heard that a group from Main Street was helping folks so she gave us a call on Thursday.  She said her friend had received our help and wondered if we could do the same.  Inevitably when people see you doing good things that want to participate and this lady was elderly so we painted her porch.  Perhaps she was looking for a way to have her porch painted for free but you are not the judge nor am I so we simply served. 

After that we did a little “house-cleaning” and washed the bus (inside and out) and cleaned some things around the church property.  Technically we closed the day by moving watermelons and breaking a couple because of our clumsy tendencies but that is ok 🙂 

I think this was an amazing opportunity for us as a group to grow closer and to serve.  Youth Ministers if you are struggling with unity and want to find a way to bring each other together then something like this may be for your group.  When a group works together they have to shed their pride, egos and laziness otherwise the work will not get done.  This was truly a good week. 

Thank you Youth Group for being amazing and being so spiritually in tune with God and His Word.  Thank you parents, cooks and prayer partners who all made this happen.  Deo gratias!


Springfield, TN : Springfield GreenwayYesterday we had a light day in comparison to days 1-2 and even the temperatures were a little more bearable.  We started the day by canvassing the Green Way for trash and debris.  The Green Way is a 2-3 mile stretch of path that allows bikers, runners and walkers to enjoy a scenic trail without the annoyance of cars and construction.  When the floods came to Nashville a few weeks ago the Green Way was tumbled for it sits right on the banks of the Sulphur Fork Creek.  So it was our mission to clean it up and we found bottles, diapers, dry wall, sheet metal, newspapers, plastic cups, a dog house, vinyl siding and a host of other stuff.  We probably had 15-20 bags full of trash. 

The second half of the day we went to Travis Price Park to do some clean-up work.  Travis Price is the park that most of Springfield uses for Little League baseball, church softball and is the home of the Springfield High School baseball and softball teams.  So we did something that most parks would appreciate and picked up cigarette butts and swept underneath the bleachers.  We also went into the dugout and swept a lot of the dirt out and, as a softball player myself, I can tell you that it is the cleanest I have ever seen it. 

We did not help people understand the book of Revelation, nor did we clear up issues between denominations and we probably will not convert people based on yesterday’s deeds.  Yet, I would like to think that the Savior who washed the feet of his disciples and ate with the tax collectors would appreciate some of the dirty work we have done in the name of Christ.  Also, a second side-motive I have noticed is that our group has bonded together in this task and it hs helped us grow closer to each other more so than we already were.  It is these moments in the summer that I cherish as a Youth Minister which keeps an old, outdated 29 year-old interested in teenagers and their spirituality.


Last year I decided that we were not doing enough for the community and so I started the Main Street Backyard Mission Trip and we are currently done with days 1-2 and it has renewed our focus and challenged our hearts.  Yesterday we helped a member of the Lord’s church at 19th Avenue in Springfield.  His house was burned down and he had to rebuild everything.  We did his landscaping for him like planting flowers, mulch and such.  Today we helped three ladies with painting needs.  It was hot and miserable but we did a lot of good. 

I have been amazed at the comments I have received when we talk about what we are doing this week.  They look at me befuddled that people would take time out of their day to help others in need.  One lady said, “I wish my church was doing that.”  Another person said, “What ya’ll are doing is really a good thing.”  This week has challenged me physically, mentally and spiritually.  I am continually showed up by teenagers who work their tails off even though average temperatures are 93 degrees and the heat index at 101.  I am impressed and glad that I can trust my future to people who are willing to work.  Some of the teenagers took time off from work (which means they do not get paid) and some skipped different events so that they could work.  Why? 

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”  (Matt. 25:40). 

I would like to think that we are serving Christ when we serve others.  I am not going to get much publicity for this…I won’t make it on the cover of the Tennessean…You won’t find a report on this in the Christian Chronicle…but the deeds we do here…I believe…is a small repayment for the deeds Christ did when He was here.  I am so proud of the teens and adults who have helped.  Way to step it up.  The rest of you still have a chance.