We did it! We made it half way through the mission trip! Even after just a few days,we feel like we are in a routine with our days and work. We feel like we have known our new friends for ages. We feel at home in our neighborhoods and at our work sites. And, as much as possible, our air mattresses actually begin to feel somewhat comfortable.
Our group has been divided into around 11 different “crews”. Each crew is working on a different project – and some are working on multiple projects during the week. Here are some of the things our students are working on this week.
At Miss Al’s house they are replacing fascia and soffits (which includes lots of climbing on the roof and working on ladders!). They are also painting a room.
At Ms. Rochelle Dorn’s home, students are siding, caulking, and painting.
A group at the Lexington Interfaith Community Services is building large shelving units for the thrift store and painting shelves and walls.
Students at the Carmichael’s house are replacing subfloor and then tiling in the kitchen.
At Chandler’s home they are putting in a new roof – replacing old shingles and damaged roof panels.
Miss Sheila is getting a new deck behind her house!
Another team is fixing and shingling Richard’s roof, including reinforcing joists.
Another team was able to mud and paint a bathroom.
At Sam’s home students replaced the floor in his bathroom.
Finally, another group is working at the Nehemiah house. The Nehemiah Project is one of the reasons Next Step is working in this neighborhood. It is an organization that Next Step is partnering with as part of their community development plan for this area. There are 3 projects being completed at this spot. We are rebuilding a large shed, building a wheelchair ramp and deck, and grouting the whole house. If you want more information on the Nehemiah Project, please go to: http://thenehemiahprojectsc.org/home.html. We are part of the Bellemeade project.
Day 3 is always an important day on our mission trips. It’s important for 3 reasons.
1 – Enough physical work has been done that students are able to see that they are actually making progress and making a difference. All of those hours in the sun begin to seem worth it.
2 – Students are tired enough, and have spent enough time together, that walls begin to fall down and a level of vulverability surfaces. It is when this happens that God is able to really begin to do his work in our hearts.
3 – We pray for each other. During Wednesday night worship we wash each other’s feet, lay hands on each other, and pray. It is an incredibly humbling experience, to hear teens pray for their friends.
I was inspired tonight by one of our students, Mae. She began each prayer, “Awesome God, I thank you for the blessing that we call ________(insert a friend’s name)”. Who are you praying for today? Do you see the person you are praying for as a true blessing from God? How could that perspective shape your prayers today?
We’ll be back tomorrow to let you know if we were able to finish all of our projects before having to leave for home!