Friday, July 16, 2010

National Youth Gathering Day 2

Day two from New Orleans!

For me the day started out at 5:30 am with a trip to the health club. A few of the boys said they would meet there. After a 55 minute workout I returned to my room to shower. On the way back I passed them heading for the gym!

After breakfast and a short meeting, our group headed for the National Aquarium. While it had many similarities to the one in Baltimore, it also had a few different things to offer. There was a fabulous Caribbean reef exhibit will eels and sting rays, and a Louisiana swamp display which included an all white alligator. The Amazon River display included a huge Anaconda. And the Mississippi River exhibition featured some monstrous fresh water fish. Many of our youth and all of our chaperones were impressed by the number of turtles that were in the Mississippi display that had been rescued from the recent BP oil spill. It was most impressive and heart-warming to see their concern and compassion for God’s creatures who were victims of man’s disaster.

In the afternoon we went to the I-MAX Theater and saw a documentary on Hurricane Katrina. It was very well done. It showed how even before Katrina the making of canals destroyed huge areas of swamp lands and actually weakened New Orleans’ natural defenses against hurricanes. The building of canals for shipping brought salt water into the swamp lands and killed off thousands of trees. This weakened the hold on soil which resulted in extreme damage by erosion. All in all it was very enlightening and thought provoking.

Later in the afternoon a number of us went to the Convention Center to register our group, pick up our NYG t-shirts and bright green back packs, attend a short information meeting, and gather a water bottle for each participant.

For dinner we walked about a mile to a fine little Italian restaurant on the edge of the French Quarter. After a filling meal we took the trolley-train back to the Riverside Hilton Hotel.

At nine we gathered together for a devotion based on God’s creation and being good stewards of the environment. Then everyone filled out an activities schedule indicating which workshops, lectures, and concerts he or she would like to attend. Then we reviewed with our youth the safety suggestions that the police and conference planners recommended that we all adhere to whenever we ventured outside of our hotel.

Then about 10:30 we broke up and went to our rooms for bed. We have another busy day ahead of us on Saturday.

Please keep us in your prayers, as you are in ours.

God bless,

Pastor George

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