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My family and I had the privilege of taking a mission trip to Louisiana this month, and I’m happy to report that it went very well.

I’m not mentioning the name of the town in this blog post, because I want to make it very clear that I’m not trying to rank for this on Google, or exploit the situation in any way.

At the same time, it’s not a secret. You can see the name of the town in some of the pictures below, and you can also read an article here which goes into a little more detail about our church’s involvement with this town (they even used some of my pictures in the article!).

As I have done in the past, I’m sharing this with you because I consider the Eric’s Tips “community” to be a part of it. You all support me, which enables me to do stuff like this, and we also did an online fundraiser which helped pay for this project. We did raise enough to cover the entire mural project. Thank you very much for your support!

Here are a few highlights and pictures from the trip. We brought down a dance team from our church and put on a three day dance and art camp which was attended by over 100 children and youth from the community…

Dance Camp

I led the art sessions, which were a lot of fun…

Art camp

Here are some of the pictures created by the afternoon class…

Art camp

We got to build a float for the 4th of July Parade. You can see here the “Dream Big” theme, which is a powerful message in a community that was labeled the poorest place in America…

Parade float

We helped make history, as the parade itself was a first, and the float had members from both high schools (another first), which is a big step toward unity…

Parade float

Here are some dance camp students getting stretched out before the parade…

Parade

The dancers all participated in the parade, including my wife who is now in her third trimester…

Parade

Of course we gave away a bunch of candy…

Parade

Here’s my little boy marching in the parade…

Parade

We had front row seats to a pretty spectacular fireworks accident. One backfired, and the whole barge lit up. Thank God the pyrotechnicians bailed into the lake, and no one was hurt…

Fireworks

We had a great time making friends with very hospitable people, and were invited to the best fish fry we’d ever experienced…

Fish fry

Fish fry

Fish fry

Here is the massive wall upon which we have the honor of painting a mural…

mural

We had quite a few helping hands from our team…

mural

We started with a base coat…

mural

For those who replied to my email saying they doubted that I was “really” down there, here’s the proof… me on a 20 foot ladder in the blazing sun…

mural

mural

mural

I designed the mural to look like a giant crossword puzzle. The words are: Hope, Worth, Change, Love, Vision, Unity, Respect, Impact, Believe, Forgive, Courage, and Serve… all integrated with the name of the city…

mural

In between all the words will be scenes of the local culture. Basically, all the white space outside the boxes will be covered. It will take me a couple more trips to finish the mural, which is covered by the fundraiser we did, so I will post more pictures in the future.

Lastly, here’s a parting shot of the beautiful lake upon which this great town sits…

lake

Thanks again for your help in making this happen, and I’ll be sure to post pictures of the finished mural when the time comes.

As always, you are welcome to leave your comments below.

Have a great day!

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