Last September, we, (a group of leaders from the 5 churches involved) began to plan for our annual Mission Trip for the summer. Many hours, meetings, and ideas later, we had a plan for how we would work this trip.
52 people would travel to Georgetown SC to work on homes that the United Methodist Church Volunteers in Mission had selected. Around May I felt the trip getting closer, but so much activity at the church had kept us very busy. June arrived, and our focus turned t the Mission Trip, the 4th of July Parade, getting hundreds and hundreds of bottles of water ready, getting the kids prepared, and making sure that everything was in place for the mission trip, with permission and insurance forms filled out, vans rented, and food, lots of food purchased.
The 4th of July arrived on Thursday, and we had a great time padding out "the Living Waters", nearly 2000 of them, in fact.Returning to the church, the parade crew was treated to hot dogs and drinks from a group serving them.
The following week. on Friday, the truck was packed full of baggage, food, and tools. Rental vans were picked up, and filled up, and made ready to go. On Saturday morning we gathered the group together, prayed, and headed out for Princeton VA, where we spent the night following the 1st leg of our journey.
On Monday morning, out Mission began in earnest, meeting with the Volunteers in Mission coordinator, where final job changes were worked out, and crews of youth and adults left the Duncan Memorial Church, where we stayed during our Mission. Each crew has jobs assigned, from building a porch and replacing floors, to repairing, or replacing bathrooms, and kitchens, doing drywall work, and painting. We did roofing, and in fact stripped the roof down to the rafters, in spots, and replaced sheet wood, and installed new shingles.
All of these jobs were done by high school youth, and their adult supervisors, in a single week's time. Many of these jobs would have cost the homeowners thousands of dollars if done by a contractor, and none of them would have been able to afford the work. Our youth came into town, fueled by the Spirit, and finished each job on schedule. This was no easy task, by any means, for almost every crew had one adult with minimal skills in the areas in which they worked. These crews, these hard working kids, completed their jobs and forever changed each homeowner's life. By the week, many of the homeowners were actually moved to tears when their crew had to leave.
These youth, and their adult supervisors, became the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in this community. They forever touched their hearts with grace and love. I never get tired of telling people about the power of these trips, and the lives changed; ours, and the people of the community we join for that wonderful week. We ate, and ate very well, and we slept on the floor of a gym, worked in incredibly hot and humid conditions. We worshipped and prayed every day, and witnessed the power of God changing the lives of His people. Amazing!
This whole Mission was only possible because God was the center of the trip. The youth and adults answered God's call upon their hearts, and the church supported them in prayer and need.
Just amazing, working with God's people.
Children Learn what they live.
In children live with criticism,
They learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility,
\they learn to fight.
If children live with fear,
they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity,
they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule,
they learn to be shy.
If children live with jealousy,
they learn what envy is.
If children live with shame,
they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with tolerance,
they learn to be patient.
If children live with encouragement,
they learn to be confident.
If children live with praise,
they learn to appreciate.
If children live with approval,
they learn to like themselves.
If children live with acceptance.
they learn to find love in the world.
If children live with recognition,
they learn to have a goal.
If children live with sharing,
they learn to be generous.
If children live with honesty and fairness,
they learn what truth and justice are.
If children live with security,
they learn to have faith in themselves, and in those around them.
If children live with friendliness,
they learn that the world is a nice place in which to live.
If children live with serenity,
they learn to have peace of mind.
-- Dorothy L Nolte