We first heard about this from a friend at church. She participates in the Fuller Center for Housing Bicycle team. The team does long rides across the country, spending nights in church gyms along the way, and participating in building works the Fuller Center does in different areas of the United States. The ride she was on started in June in San Francisco, and is going across the entire country to Atlanta! Can you imagine?
She asked us to join the team to encourage them as they stopped in Shreveport for a building project. We drove down and got there Friday at dinner time and were treated to dinner with the bicyclists at the Fuller Center. In typical southern hospitality, we were served home-made Gumbo, rice, salad, chocolate cake, and sweet tea! It was delicious! We heard a presentation about the Fuller Center and were given some instruction about the work we would do the next day. After the dinner they told us there was a balloon festival nearby on the LSU-Shreveport campus. So all of us piled into two vans and our vehicle and went to check it out. I had never been to a balloon festival before. It was awesome! For King & Country was playing a concert there and also they had fireworks!
A table centerpiece at Friday night's dinner at Fuller Center NWLA
I had my first experience "glamping" with the team in the Fellowship Hall of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament church. It was the right price - FREE. We got up early and were on the job site at 8 a.m. We split up and did jobs like installing hurricane clips, painting, caulking, framing a shed, cleaning up the job site, mowing, etc. We also met the future homeowners and the wife was able to stay and work with us that day. It was hot and humid and we worked hard until 2:30 p.m. Some of the group went to work in their store of donated building supplies also.
After cleaning up and resting the Fuller Center took all of us to a restaurant renowned for it's "All You Can Eat Catfish." It was a great time! One of the things I enjoyed most was finding out where the different members of the bicycle team were from and asking the older ones about how they trained. Would you believe they have several 70+ on this 9 week bicycle tour?
One of the craziest things was our sleeping quarters. It was, well, vintage, to put it nicely. As we returned from the restaurant and flipped on the lights, we saw something running across the floor. And then we saw 3 or 4 more of them. The Hubs took care of them for us. Let me just say Louisiana grows much bigger cockroaches than Oklahoma does! After someone reassuring us that "at least roaches don't bite," I zipped myself up as much as I could in my sleeping bag. I finally fell asleep!
We went to church with our friend the next morning and went by the grocery store for her to pick up some things, then said our goodbyes. We left with a sense of appreciation for the Fuller Center for Housing, and a sense of wonder in the way God works in the lives of people.