Sorry for the delay, but all the full-quality pictures are now ready!!!!!
Go to shutterfly.com.
(that's a zero in r0cks )
Friday, July 12, 2013
Today, we completed the platforms for the decks for another house. We also finished installing the sheetrock in the bathroom and painting it light blue, installing the last window, and installing the skirting. At the end of the day, the large job of completing the plumbing was finished, and everyone was packing up to leave, but God had other plans! A joint suddenly broke in the plumbing, sending water everywhere in the bathroom! A few adults(Seldon, Simon, and Chris) stayed after when everyone else left for dinner to fix the problem. We are all thankful that this happened, though, because the men came back to us with several stories of conversations with the homeowner that they wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to have. We are SO excited to spend a few last hours with the homeowner tomorrow and worship with her. The jobs are pretty much complete on the house, before a few *surprise* final touches....more to come tomorrow!!
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Today YMO made HUGE strides on the worksite. Many jobs were finished, including installing the insulation, cleaning the outside of the house, building the back porch, repairing the front porch, repairing the clothesline, painting and sealing the roof, repairing the plumbing, and fixing the lawn mower. Tomorrow the group's goals are to finish installing a tub/shower in the bathroom, finishing the drywall and painting in the bathroom, installing 2 new windows and an air conditioning unit. They are also building a porch for another house in the yard on site, to be moved later. The group is growing closer and closer as the week goes on. Many people have said they think this is the best mission trip ever. Today, Amanda Powell and Sam Henson have written reflections
Starting off the day was an amazing experience in itself, for when we arrived on the job site Mrs. Tomlin was outside sitting on her new deck. Another youth and I walked over to her and started a conversation about her quilting. We learned that she was taught to quilt when she was 16 by her mother, and now she spends all her pastime making them for friends and family. We learned that when her husband past away, her son burned her husbands quilt, and in order to compensate for the pain, she makes quilts all the time in order to keep her bond with him. She stayed on the deck for a little over half an hour, which is the longest that she has been outside with the entire group. It is such a godsend to see her finally breaking out of her shell, and opening herself up to not only me, but to the rest of the group as well. We also learned that even though she may not be very vocal towards us, as we drive away, she is immediately out of the house showing her love for us as she leans down to touch her brand new deck, or run her hands across her brand new clothes line. These simple things we take for granted have helped bring her closer to us, and in turn, us closer to God.
I don’t think anyone understands this heat. This is the most disgusting, sticky, and sweat-provoking heat. Merely standing outside for a minute will produce a river of sweat running down my back. As gross as this image may seem, I am here to show how these waterworks are a good thing. While I have only briefly talked to Mrs. Tomlin, I know that I am sweating for her. My job for the past couple of days has been to cut installation for the crew down under the house. Measuring and slicing the fiberglass has become something that I am a pro at. Before you disregard the job that may seem “simple,” just know it’s brutal. When I am standing in the sun for hours with dozens of orders waiting to be cut, the sweat begins to weigh deeply. However, looking up at the house, I see how everyone is sweating and suffering along with me. This sweat bonds us all together as we work on this house in 100% humidity. I begin to pick up my work, and my sweat becomes irrelevant. God works in mysterious ways, but placing us in this certain climate bonds us all together. We are all here for the same reason and putting just as much work into the same cause. This is a special kind of sweat, the kind of sweat that means something.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
The second day on the site went great! We made a lot of progress on the trailer and the students are starting to see a big difference. The homeowner let us know that she enjoyed sitting on her new back porch and that what we were doing meant so much to her. The entire house is done being washed, the back porch is almost finished, the old insulation is torn out and the new is starting to be put in. On the inside, there is progress in the bathroom- the tiles have been removed and demo has begun on the molding wall. YMO has made a tremendous difference already and they are ready to continue the job tomorrow. Tonight we had the opportunity to go to Rural mission for their Seafood Jamboree- the night was filled with worship. songs, and dancing.
Today's reflections are from Stephen Walker and Derek Bedard.
"This will mark my 3rd year with YMO and man has it changed who I am. Threes years back I was just a massachusetts kid getting thrown into a church group from Warrenton and I had no clue what to expect. But boy was I overwhelmed with how Nice these kids were and how they welcomed a Boston kid into their group. And I knew right away that they would be my extended family. Today especially heard and noticed a god sighting. Kyle was saying tonight that he noticed our bus driver David donating money to Linda (Leader of Rural Missions) at the seafood jamboree. When we met David he looked like all he cared about was his bus and that's it. But he has joined our lunch prayers and tonight Linda asked for donations and David walked all the way back to his bus to grab his wallet and put money in, so this little sighting just shows that God works in crazy and awesome ways."
Monday, July 8, 2013
This morning, anticipation was building as we all ate a delicious breakfast cooked by the Arthauds, piled on to the bus, and went to the work site. When we arrived we saw a white trailer, and found out that the resident's name was Mrs. Tomlin. She lost her husband years ago and has not been able to do any repairs on the trailer since. The roof needs to be repainted to reflect sunlight away from the trailer, insulation needed to be installed, a few windows are missing, the shower in the bathroom has mold behind the tiles, and her clothesline has fallen over in the soft ground. We certainly have our work cut out for us! I could not believe how quickly the students jumped into their work- they got SO much done today! The youth leaders have asked Nicole Arthaud, an upcoming freshman, to write a reflection of her day-
"Today was my first day on the worksite. Ever. I went in dreading what it would be like. After cleaning up garbage that made me gag without a care in the world, I realized that I was truthfully happy- even though I was dodging broken glass, wasps, and half a dozen ant hills. Nobody cared if your sweat stains were the size of Texas- we just WERE. All the chores became fun, not work. More people wanted to work than there were jobs for. I enjoyed crawling on the ground with my fellow YMOers. At the same time I learned how to install insulation and became a mole, accepted by my new friends. I wasn't intentionally supposed to come on this trip. I was meant to be at summer camp. But that got cancelled- and after only one real day on the worksite, I am glad that I'm here instead."
What we did today:We began our day by eating a big breakfast cooked for us by the men of Christ St. Paul’s and attending the 10:30 church service. We then went on to Charleston for a day of fun. Once in Charleston, groups split off and explored the city until we reconvened at 4:15 to walk to St. John's. We had the opportunity to meet their youth who welcomed us very warmly. We heard many touching stories that got us ready to start our week. We then had dinner in Charleston and headed back to Christ St. Paul’s for some discussion of the day and then lights out- better get rested for the first day of work!
For our first student reflections, I asked the three youth leaders (Savannah, Hanna, and Sarah) to sum up their expectations for the week by sharing with us one thing they hope for and one thing they fear.
“This is my fourth mission trip and I have recently come to the realization that that equals almost a whole month of missions. Whole month of my life spent helping people and growing closer to God. Tat month of the life is hads down the best spent month. Each mission I go on is different than the last and full of different excitements and reservations. This year is no different, but unlike years before I am most excited to get to know the resident. Not just build a home for them, but to have an emotional connection with them. Last year I unexpectedly grew very close to the resident and I am praying for that same relationship again this year. This year is honestly my first year with out any reservations, I’m completely open minded and willing to go where ever God directs me.”
“This week I am most excited to build my relationships with all the youth and leaders here. I am also excited to build my faith up while working and through worship. I am excited to spend time helping the communities of Charleston and Hollywood. I want to get to meet members of the community and build relationships with them. This week I am anxious about the endings coming. I am anxious about this being my last missions trip with YMO. I am worried I am going to be too focused on the fact that the end is approaching and not on all that is happening. I want to focus on enjoying the trip this week instead of thinking about this being the end. I am looking forward to a fun week with awesome people.”
“As we head into my third mission trip with St. James, I am looking forward to another life changing experience with new and familiar faces. Returning to South Carolina has brought up some sentimental feelings from my first trip. Now, as one of the leaders, I am reflecting and preparing for my last week as a YMO student. I feel wiser and more mature than I did two years ago, but I still do have some worries and anxieties. I’m anxious to see who our resident is and how we will be transforming as friends and people under God, but I am also excited to make the best of the whole situation and learn from the whole week. Each moment is a lesson learned and an opportunity to grow as a Christian. I can’t wait to help the risingYMO members see their lives change for the better and love every second of it. I remember being scared for change, but YMO has opened my heart and mind and I can’t wait for others to have the experiences I have had. Let’s make this another memorable week YMO!
Saturday, July 6, 2013
***Note about photos: Double Click the slideshow to see all photos in Picasa. For now, we are using low quality photos due to low internet connection here, so these will not be good to download or print out. At the end of the week, I will put up all the full quality photos.***
Our First Day!
Today there was a great energy in our group as we embarked on our adventure! We had a nice relaxing bus ride, arrived at Christ Saint Pauls in South Carolina at about 5 pm, and then had a wonderful evening of dinner, canoeing, and horsing around at Mr. Coffin's house.