A great benefit of starting our time here in Mississippi on a Sunday is that we have the opportunity to get to know our home, our city, and own group before we start our work tomorrow.

First, we have the chance to get to know our home for the week. We’re staying together in a 10,000 sq. foot building formerly known as the “Robinson Inn.” The Robinson Inn was almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, and has since been rebuilt to house over 60 volunteers at a time. Renamed the Lucas-Varnado Volunteer House, the home is providing a great base for us to rest this Sunday following yesterday’s long car ride.

Second, we have the chance to get to know the town. We began this morning by attending Main St. United Methodist Church here in Hattiesburg. Words and music in the service had the theme of renewal–fitting for our group clad in bright green “World Renew” t-shirts. The afternoon also included lunch, naps, and a walk around town. The walk gave us our first real glimpse of the city we’re serving.

Finally, the day has given us the chance to get to know our own group. Several in our group were friends before the trip began, but many of us don’t know each other well. Fortunately, we had this time to get better acquainted by sharing about ourselves.

Thank you for reading about and praying for our summer work trip. Tomorrow, we begin the real work. We report to the job site at 7:30 and there we will get a clearer picture of what we’re in store for this week.