Editor’s note: The youth group from St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown has been hard at work this week in Topsail, N.C., on its annual mission trip, which is winding down. Here are reflections from the young volunteers, compiled by chaperone Alan Chorun.
EMILY SCOTT’S BLOG
Today we pretty much finished the deck. It feels so good that we made a difference in Ms. Cary’s life. Out of my three mission trips, I feel like this is the year when I made the biggest difference. It’s really great how much Ms. Cary and the other lady appreciate us. At the end of the day they thanked us and they made us feel really important. I’m so glad we could do this.
ASHLEY AU AND THECLA MORENO
Hello Morristown! We are youth missioners from Saint Peter’s Episcopal in Essex Fells. I can honestly say it has been great to get to know Morristown. I loved the fact that everyone is very social. Our churches have become very close over the last couple days. It has been a great pleasure to get to know everyone and I hope that we will get to see each other again in the future. Everyone has done a great job with their projects and I can say that everyone has successfully accomplished their tasks on site. I wish everyone luck on future mission trips and I hope we can work again sometime!
Hello all, I love NC.
Today was our last half-day of working. I finished building a deck with my father and a few other people. I was part of this deck since the beginning and dug two of the four cornerstones. I was also an avid participant in the building.
I bonded with my fellow workers and learned much from my always-patient teacher. But the fun wasn’t just in the building and hammering but in the entire experience. Walking away and looking back at the finished product with flushed sides and the old stairs hooked up to it filled my soul with pride. I love helping these unfortunate people who were in a rough situation.
As an overall experience I am impressed because I was under the false impression that we were going to be bunking in the middle of nowhere with huge mosquitoes and freakishly religious people who would be praying every 20 seconds. I was completely wrong.
Sure we prayed, but it had meaning and I understood the message every time. The people are amazing — none fit the mold of religious types and all know how to have a good time.
With the beach across the street, sneaking out was a beautifully easy task with barely any scares at all. But tonight was really an enriching experience. We had normal chapel outside and sang and such. Then we were moved across the street and into the sand.
We gathered together and were given directions to write our baggage (which are basically addictions, or parts of oneself one might like to change.) I wrote down selfishness and materialism and nailed it to the cross as a symbol of leaving it to God.
I then walked to the water and just thought for a good five minutes. Then Layston came over and asked if I was okay and I said yes but felt a little odd.
It didn’t occur to me until a few minutes ago that I had been touched by that God guy and just thought about me and kinda felt for a second on the beach like I was part of something much bigger than just me. I felt the rhythm of the ocean and the thoughts in my head flew freely. I just felt good. Agh — you never know but that was pretty darn cool.
In closing, because I have to go to bed, I liked this trip. I got to know people better and bonded more with everyone. Although I learned the importance of hard work and helping people, maybe what I was feeling was Mrs. Patricia’s prayer (resident we helped), being patched through directly to me from God. It sounds weird but all I got to do is believe and it’s true. Good night everyone.