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-

Nicole Arthaud:
"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."

1 comment:

  1. It's been a blessing to be able to watch the daily slide shows as I pray for you. The combination of laughter, sweat, fun and hard work is such a wonderful mix of activities and emotions. I'm impressed with the energy and enthusiasm with which you approach all aspects of your day, from cleaning up after a meal to the work on site.

    This trip, like the ones before, will be a "mountaintop experience" for many of you, and all of us-- youth and adults-- have had those times in our lives. I've been praying a lot about one of your goals-- "That the YMO students' relationships with God would continue throughout their lives and not wear off after the trip." Or as the saints through the ages have put it-- how do we "live in the valley" after coming down off the mountain?

    One of my prayers is that the adults and youth at St. James' could engage in more dialog about this "living in the valley." There seem to be common elements about a mission trip, a personal retreat, and even just a few days off from work or school when you feel like you can simply smell the roses. Can we identify what's special about the mountaintop and incorporate those elements into the other 51 weeks of our lives? How can we better support each other in daily experiencing the fruits of the Spirit-- love, joy and peace-- not only in our relationship with God, but with each other, and in service to our neighbors in need in Warrenton?

    Maybe one way might be regular service projects that involve the youth and adults working shoulder to shoulder? Is there a way to carve out of our busy schedules a set time that we gather in God's name to serve our neighbors in Jesus' name? Included in this time might be some worship and shared singing that brings us all a bit closer as a spiritual family that spans several generations.

    Finally, when several of you speak to the congregation upon your return, consider speaking not only to what happened in South Carolina but what could happen in the future here at home among us-- the Body of Christ.

    God bless you, and thank you for your service.

    Scott Christian