Day 7 of our mission trip was our trip back home. Some of us had stayed up past midnight and got up at 6am, so it was a time to catch up on sleep. It was also a time to reflect on the amazing week we had.
We remember the two church members who stopped by to say thanks and to haul away demolition trash. They expressed such gratitude to us and wanted us to bring that thank you back to the generous congregation that sent us. Ms. Wyman also expressed so much joy about being blessed that her water was finally running. We wish you could have been there to see her gestures as she described being able to wash her face after working twelve hours. She was so excited at 1am about being able to run her dishwasher again. Ms. Wyman also extended her thanks to the congregation that brought Will, Sam, and Brian to her home to complete the repairs.
While driving, I asked Will and Sam what the highlights of the week were. Will compared with three other mission trips he has been on:
- This was better organized in terms of the work, materials, and folks to teach you the skills.
- There were 80 youth and much was done to help us get to know each other. More than one church was represented at each job site.
- We sang songs during camp gathering that were new and contemporary. It did not feel like traditional hymns in a traditional worship service.
Each church took a turn at saying a prayer before each meal. Will and Sam each got a turn to lead 80+ in a prayer that they created.
God Sightings: Each evening there was an opportunity for any work camper to share with the group how they have seen God at work. Each was asked to stand and share their name, church and sighting.
Care Cards: Each camper was given an envelope to color and post on the wall. During the week we each could put encouraging notes in the envelopes of other campers. We were not allowed to peek until the drive home. Will and Sam read some of theirs out loud, while Brian drove.
Chores: Every day each church was assigned a different chore to clean up an area of our living space. The idea that we all take care of each other was reinforced.
Thick and Thin: Pastor Bill has described those places or times when it is especially easy to feel close to God. I could not begin to count the number of times I had that feeling during this week. It is easy to remember how sick I was. During that time, I was able to hold on partly by hoping and praying that God had a plan for me. Working with youth is clearly part of God’s plan for me. I am so blessed.
What’s next? The Christian Endeavor Life Builders have announced the dates for the 2016 work camps. Click on the link and select 2016 Youth Work Camps for the dates. The location is Fayette County, WV. That would be a 443 mile drive, which is an hour less than our trip to NJ. I can clear my calendar. I believe Will and Sam are planning a trip to France. Hopefully they can do both and we can get 6-10 additional youth to join us. I believe Peter hopes to take a group from his new church in Philadelphia.