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.
Hiii!! N.C. is humid and hot. Unless you like humidity, heat, the ocean, or family, I recommend that you re-think your choice in coming to N.C. But, I guess my week has been filled with getting up at 7:20 in the morning, getting breakfast, going to our work site, working, going to the beach, coming back to our complex and playing sports, and going to chapel.
From last year’s mission trip (I didn’t go on that, but I did hear about it) I was seriously doubtful about the people who would be running this trip. I was also afraid that they would be really religious and all about God. And sure, we can’t wear tank-tops or short shorts, but it seems that those things are so little compared to what we have done.
For the past 3 ½ days, our group has been working on two houses that are right next to each other. When we first went there, the houses were in dire need or work. Seeing this I believe that this made us work even harder trying to make things slightly better for these two families especially since on the first day we found out how nice the families are.
For me, working my butt off even in the extreme heat and humidity was just a small setback to helping the people of these houses. I guess the most moving thing I did was building a staircase out of old wood.
If you don’t know, building a staircase out of old wood that is deteriorating is extremely hard especially since once you nail a nail in, the wood can split and whether it’s a big crack or a small, it’s a huge setback because we want to make the stairs as safe as possible for the family.
By building the stairs, I did experience challenges, but I also experienced the joy in accomplishing work, that in everyday life, I would never do.
And now there is today, our first day without any work. I’m not too sure what is to come, but I know it will be a whole other experience for me (especially with the heat) whether it’s a good or bad one at that.
This week has been great, and hot! We had so much fun working at Ms. Patricia and Ms. Cary’s house to help fix up porches, decks, stairs, and landscaping.
On Monday I helped scrub two sides of Ms. Cary’s house sparkly clean; they were extremely dirty but after our superb job they looked brand new!
The next two-and-a-half days, I helped Stumpy (Mr. Meyer) build a deck on the back of Ms. Cary’s house; we cut wood, nailed in the floor, and finally attached the stairs to the side.
On Thursday, our last day of work, we blessed the houses of both Ms. Patricia and Ms. Cary and all of the work we had done. We sang them a few songs and thanked them for allowing us to become part of their life and home.
I loved how we were able to connect our faith with theirs by sharing the soil of St. Peter’s Church and their homes; we sprinkled our soil on their yard and took some of theirs to bring home with us. This part of our mission trip was especially meaningful because not only did we share our hard work, but we were able to become part of our homeowners’ lives.
More than any other mission trip I have gone on before, this specific trip meant the most because I know that our work was appreciated and welcomed, and I know that Ms. Patricia and Ms. Cary will never forget it.