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Archive for the ‘Mercy Street’ Category

The Last Month in Pictures…

Posted by hrgarippa on 21 August, 2008

At the end of July I went to the Jersey Shore and NYC for a week with my family.

My cousin very graciously allowed us to stay at her beach house and we had the most marvelous time.
Melissa, I started almost every morning like this… aren’t you proud…
The beach was unbelievable and my nephews just loved it.
(this is Jonah)
We spent a couple of days in NYC, one was quite eventful and will explain my broken finger. As you may have read in an earlier post I’m epileptic and my little brain decided to have one of its Primary Generalized Something Something Something Discharge also known as a seizure right smack dab in the middle of Bloomingdale’s. So, here we are on the way to the City expecting a day of fun…
And then there’s me somewhere in that big building (NY Presbyterian Hospital) getting a head CT and an X ray on my broken finger, (that I fell on when I started convulsing)
But since Ain’t Nothing Gonna Slow Me Down I was back in the City the next day and we had a grand time.
Later in the week my entire, enormous family got together for my cousin Debbie’s wedding. Here are a couple pictures. The first is Debbie with all (minus one…Aunt Ruthie) the living Aunts and Uncles. The second Picture is just the Uncles.
From Left to Right: Lydia Mastroberti, Robert Garippa (my Dad), Matthew Garippa, David Garippa, Dorothy Garippa, Debbie Giordano, Dolores Wood, (seated) Mathilda Mastroberti, Esther Catalano, Rachel Garippa.
My dad has ten sisters and two brothers. He is the baby. I think there is a 22 year difference between him and the oldest.
So after returning from those festivities we all (Mercy Street Employees) geared up for camp. This time round we headed to Pine Cove Outback and boy was it exciting.

This is Twist n Shout…he is such a humble servant…soon I’ll do an entire post on all the amazing counselors at Pine Cove Outback. They loved our kids patiently and so unselfishly. I was humbled over and over by people named TMBA, Manwich, Soapy’s Friend, For-E-Ver, and many more.

This is my cabin, all decked out for Karaoke.

This pictures not only showcases Theotist, who needs your prayers but it gives you all a glimpse of what became affectionately known as my stinky stump.

And finally the picture to keep all the kids in line…Don’t mess with Miss Hannah!

Posted in Another day in the hood, Mercy Street, Mi Familia | 3 Comments »

Three years ago

Posted by hrgarippa on 13 December, 2007

I remember coming to Mercy Street for the Park Cities Presbyterian Church Christmas staff lunch. It was the last major thing I helped plan as I prepared to leave PCPC and start working here at Mercy Street. I remember decorating the stage in the auditorium, standing up there staring with wonder at all that this building represents. I remember talking with Miss Annie about my upcoming change and she said, “We are excited you’ll be part of our team.” I remember sitting with my friends and realizing that our relationships were going to change as we would no longer see each other everyday.

And I remember my first day here at Mercy Street. I walked in to about 20 people getting ready for our weekly prayer meeting. I was so unsure of myself, so curious about all that we would be doing. Everyone was so kind to me and so encouraging.

I remember when Jacque was hired and then Chris came on board and Uncle Bill started working for us full time. Mercy Street has seen a lot of changes in the last three years. We’ve grown from three employees to 14. The Lord has blessed Mercy Street with people who truly love, are full of compassion and who are living to proclaim the gospel here in West Dallas.

From left to right: Carolina Mordasini, Bill Farrell, Carlton Oby, Tim Hershey,
Johnny Garippa, Jim Riley, Tracy Henry, Garrett Smith, Mindy Smith, Me,
Trey Hill and Annie Roberson. Not Pictured: Jacque Lacy and Bill Hill

Now three years later, the PCPC staff returns to Mercy Street for their Christmas lunch and my how things have changed, not just with Mercy Street but with PCPC as well. I am still unsure of myself, but I am more sure than ever that Lord is at work here in West Dallas.

I am so thankful for my Mercy Street Family.

Posted in Another day in the hood, Mercy Street | 3 Comments »

Learning how to fail

Posted by hrgarippa on 4 October, 2007

The last couple of nights I’ve laid awake at 3 am, it is always 3 am, and I usually can’t fall back asleep for quite a while. I toss and I turn…and I think and I try to pray. Last night I was thinking about an email that I received from the director of MS, Trey, it said:

“….My take-away, after an all-day meeting from 7:30 AM-4:00 PM, was how thankful I am for each of you. God affirmed again how blessed I am to have such wonderful people working alongside me at Mercy Street. One of the major points of discussion at the meeting was the difficulty that others have in attracting and keeping good people, with pearls of wisdom like “fire early and fire often” being offered. I know that God has assembled this team to accomplish His purposes in West Dallas—namely to see community transformation brought about by raising a new generation of leaders by engaging in Christ-honoring, mutually transforming relationships. I am grateful for all of you and look forward to seeing the great things God is going to do here.”

I was thinking what is the secret to this success, there are many factors, but one of the biggest is our leader and his allowing us the freedom to fail. I’m just learning how to fail, really. It isn’t that I haven’t failed in the past and failed often. But I’m just learning that it is okay to fail, and that maybe it is a good thing.

I like to be the best at everything that I do, which limits the things that I will attempt to do. I’ve always figured if I only do things I know I’m good it, I’ll always be relatively good…and most everyone will like me. But now I’m in a place where I’m doing a lot of things that I’m not very good at, but they are things I really want to do, and that I need to do (a. they are my job and b. they are fun). One of those things is learning how to be a soccer coach. I don’t know much about soccer, but I’m trying. I’m showing up and learning how to dribble as I teach the kids how to dribble.

As I type this I’m reminded of a scene from the show Friends, were Monica is afraid to try new things, she attends a tap dance class and the instructor says, “Your getting it all wrong.” and she replies, “Yeah, but at least I’m out here.” That may be my new motto, I don’t have to be the best at everything, but I’ve got to at least give it my best and if I fail, great, hopefully I’ll pick it up and try again.

I’m grateful to Trey for the way he has allowed me to learn, for the way he has taken me outside of my comfort zone and when I have failed he has always been there to support me. There were many times when he could have said “Fire early, and fire often” but he has faithfully encouraged me on this journey of ministry, especially when I have felt lost.

Being here in West Dallas I continually learn what it means to be involved in a mutually transforming relationship. My working has never been just about me helping this community, but I think it has been more about how the Lord can use this community to change me.

Posted in Deep thoughts, Mercy Street | 3 Comments »

Bow to your Sensai

Posted by hrgarippa on 1 February, 2006

The Texas Tae Kwon Doe Federation offers a class at Mercy Street that the kids of West Dallas can join. We have about 10 kids or so that participate and are learning incredible discipline and endurance. Last weekend they had a belt test and 4 of our kids and one of our staff members tested and became yellow belts. It is amazing to see how far they have come. CM the staff member had to fight a black belt who gave him all he had…which means a good kick right to the ribs…so I’ve got to give him props for being a part of this program and literally sacrificing his body for the kids.

Also at the competition there were about 15 black belts that were judging their performance and one of the black belts was an eleven year old kid. So another thing these kids are learning is humility because this 11 year old has a say in whether or not they pass or not AND could seriously inflict bodily harm.

Posted in Another day in the hood, Mercy Street | Leave a Comment »