Changed hearts and lives.
On June 18th, fifteen adults headed to Fairmont, West Virginia, to participate in a week long work mission with MTW though the Presbyterian Churches of America. Saturday was spent arriving, setting up your area, and a time of getting to know each other. We stayed at a camp with teams from four other churches. Sunday was a day of Worship and going to the homes of the people we would be serving. Two of our team members went to work immediately after getting to camp. They served all of the rest of the camp by working in the kitchen. The remaining thirteen of us divided into two groups. One was assigned to Sally, a 67 year old woman with many medical issues making her unable to take care of her home for many years, and the other group assigned to a young man of 39, Johnny, who for many years was financially unable to keep up with a home he purchased, and was not able to get it to a livable condition.
Monday, everyone full of energy and well rested, headed out to their worksite. Our first obstacle was a flat tire on a major interstate. BUT, we did not look at it as an obstacle that was going to take the “wind out of our sails”. The four men had the tired changed in 10 minutes as the women were by the roadside praying for God to be Glorified. So on we went in a short time eagerly ready to serve our Lord and Savior.
The week was a week of many, many tasks and jobs. At Sally’s, there was painting, water-proofing a basement, shelving made to organize the basement, much outside landscaping, housecleaning, a dryer vented to the outside, and much more. As the week unfolded, more needs were evident which we handled as they came up. And, since Sally’s need of people to talk with was evident, many stepped up to the task of giving a listening ear. As she stated the first day we met her, she was excited to have a “hen party” all week. The mission organization leaders shared with us this was as important a ministry as the physical tasks.
The first morning the group arrived at Johnny’s home, he was eagerly awaiting the group. He wanted to make sure he worked with us as much as his job would allow him. He had already sheet-rocked 4 rooms over the course of 1 ½ years, but didn’t know how to continue and ran out of time and money. At the end of the week, we successfully finished 3 large rooms with drywall completed, priming, painting and laminate floor (which he had purchased 2 years prior) installed in two rooms. But for those working at Johnny’s the most exciting time was seeing the glow on his face and his smile from ear to ear the day we started laying the flooring with him working along-side learning how to do this so he would be able to finish it on his own.
Off the worksite, it was a great week too. Every evening after Worship time, the group would gather on our cabin porch for much fun, laughter, snacking, and teasing. And this would not be complete without mentioning how much Kate Clark considered us her geriatric group as the smell of Ben Gay wafted over the rafters. She was a great sport about being with the group of “older adults”.
Sally and Johnny have impacted all who went and hopefully we have impacted them also. Many hugs, goodbyes and addresses were exchanged as we parted.
To see photos from the trip, please click here.