October 17, 2005

Alabama Church Adventure Part III

This morning my new roomie and I headed to "The Rock Family Worship Centre (sorry, Center...)".

They had me at hello... and lost me at the healings.

This place was a bit of a production. I found the crane video cameras a little distracting, that and the 4 plasma video screens. I would guesstimate that they're morning worship services would cost about $10 000 to produce. Lot's of fancy lights, lots of cheesy music. I was half expecting the Gaither's to join them for a good old fashioned homecoming.

OK, it wasn't that cheesy. But it was big and showy and emotional. No one really cared that we were there, and I really felt no need to go back. There was a portion for healings, but no one did the fall down flailing about thing.

My roomate doesn't like Baptist churches, or any church of with any kind of traditional flair. The only solution is for me to get a car so I can start visiting churches that are less likely to have anyone being slain by the spirit (as fun as that may be).

This was a very long week. We were off R and O (routine and order) every day by a couple of hours. Which meant not getting to bed until 9 or 10. And when the girls get to bed late the consequence is getting up at 4:30am. It stinks.

The things that delay our scheduling is refusals (kid sits down in the middle of the road and refuses to go forward), kid one starts cussing at kid two. They throw their water bottles. I get to stand in front of whichever kid I think I can handle and try to calm them down.

Speaking of kids I can handle, we have a new resident that some have nicknamed "The Linebacker". For those of you non-football types that means she's big. Not chubby big, muscle big. Taller than I am. One evening her and another resident (who is crazy and leaving on Monday) exchange words and I find myself standing in front of a girl who could remove my head in one fell swoop. I couldn't understand much of what she said, but I once she gets out of custody she could probably have a go at being a rapper.

In short, she didn't hit me.

Another incident happened moment after the lights had been turned out. It was pretty scary. The crazy girl who has gone through things that no 14 year-old should ever have to went off the wall. She threw a bunk over on the floor. A bunk that I can only move if I put every ounce of energy into it. She threw it like plastic. There were lots of scared girls, anxious counsellors, and a frantic call for help on the radio... It was scary.

I'm now SAMA, CPR, and first aid certified. SAMA is Satori Alternative to Managing aggressive behaviour. We learned how to verbally de-escalate potentially explosive situations (it actually works, I've had to use it a few times), and how to do physical containments. I haven't done a physical thingy yet, though there were a few times when I could have.

I'm hoping that the group will be back on focus this week. As fun as violent adrenaline rushes are, I could really do without.

I'm back to work tomorrow, and this is our last week of training. I'm getting better at doing the whole enforce the rules counsellor stuff. Although the group doesn't really like to listen to me. I can get them to do the norms stuff individually, but when I try to get the whole group to stop talking I run into some difficulty.

Anywho, I have to run to do laundry and pack things up. I bought a new pair of North Face sneakers to replace my Zellers shoes. After three weeks of frequent walking I could put my finger through the soles...

That's it. Good night. Before I think of something else to say.


Becca said...

What's with all these "let's spend our money on tv screens and not sponsoring missionaries, or community outreach, or anything at all Godly" churches? It sounds really odd. I would have a hard time going there and not getting seriously annoyed with people.

Amazing the kind of things that you have to deal with! I never knew you could talk someone out of explosive behaviour - an interesting idea.

Anonymous said...

FC I miss you and you need to update more often. I love hearing your alabamian adventures and i check at 3 times a day to see if there is anything new. I hope everything is going well, you sound happy!
Miss ya,

Brandy said...

F you have inspired me to start a new blog, so we can stay caught up on the boring life stuff... I just don't knwo how to work it yet..