We're back!!! Not sure how many of you knew, I guess I hadn't mentioned it much but we were on a mission trip with the Family Workteam from our church. I had planned to blog on my usual day but we had trouble even getting a phone signal many times so I just decided to wait til we got home. We went to Columbus, IN for a week to help with the flood relief work from last summer's flood. We were working thru The United Way. We were a small group this time only 12 at the most. A few people could not be with us the whole week but as it turned out, we had just the right number of people at the right time.
At first, we thought we would be working on two houses along side of another group from York, PA. When the fellow in charge of the work assignments found out we had a plumber and an electrician in our group they gave us a different house. We worked on the house of Everett and Georgia Reeves. They were in their 60's and with the help of their family and friends had done some of the work themselves but had run out of steam. Plus the jobs left were some of the big ones. Our electrician came for just a day but was able to get some major jobs done to situate the electricity to the house and garage. Then a local electrician came the rest of the week and hooked up the plugs, switches, and then the ceiling lights. I believe when we were leaving on Friday most of the electricity work was finished. We had our plumber with us all week. He was able to show my two sons what needed to be done and they were under the house for a couple days working on pipes and duct work. I could never do that!! In addition, with the plumber's direction, our group was able to hook up most of the bathroom and kitchen fixtures, the well and the pump. We also finished the wood flooring in two rooms, doorways and doors, most of the kitchen cabinets, drywalled the mudroom, and painted all the trim and baseboards for the next group to install. It was clearly looking more like a house when we left on Friday.
I try to document everything in photos and everybody is usually tired of getting their picture taken by the second or third day. I say 'we have to have proof that everybody works.' I try to include anybody that we meet too, so we can remember them when we get home. Taking all the pictures is a way to give those back at our church, especially, a view into our week. So many people have donated to our different fundraisers and I want them to see what the money went for. We stayed at The Columbus Youth Camp just outside of Columbus which was very handy and the cabins, kitchen, and restrooms were fairly nice so that made our stay comfortable. It was nice, also, to have such a short drive there and back and to be helping out some 'fellow Hoosiers'! All the people we met were topnotch and easy to work with! As a group, we got along great and enjoyed each other's company on and off the job!
The couple we helped, Georgia and Everett, were the cutest couple. They were very friendly and it was easy to get to know them. Right at the beginning, Georgia brought out some pictures so we could see what the house looked like with all the water around it. It was unbelievable! The next day she brought out more pictures and a book that had been printed showing many scenes from around Columbus after the flood. It was amazing to hear how quickly it came up and all the things that happened then in the next few weeks and months. They had such an amazing attitude about everything and were very grateful for all that we were doing for them. It made you want to do as much as you could to help them. Everett was a big 'kidder' so he fit into our group real well and we all had fun teasing each other, Georgia, too! With my son and his family living so close I'm hoping to be able to visit with Georgia and Everett from time to time.
We try to have devotions on our trips and it was difficult with our schedule this time but one devotion went along with something Georgia had shared with me. She said just before the flood that she was very ill and in the hospital. She said she had prayed that she'd go back to church and all the things we say when we try to make a deal with God if he would help her get better. And altho she still struggles with her health some and then they had the flood and lost so much of their belongings, her attitude was so amazing. She said she realized that things happen for a reason. It says in Ecclesiastes 3:1, "For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven." Many things are listed there and verse 3b says, "A time to tear down, and a time to build up" and that's where we were at for them. I pray that if I ever have such a disaster that God will help me to feel just that way and trust in Him. Georgia said they were back to going to church and anyone they meet will see her attitude of trust in God for all that she has and needs. What an awesome testimony they were sharing with us as we were there to share with them. That's just how a mission trip works - you usually get more out of it yourself personally than what you are able to give. I think that's how God has it all planned out for us!
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for the opportunity we had to help Georgia and Everett! I praise you for their testimony of trust in you for everything they need. I pray you will use them to show many others as they showed us. I praise you, too, that you know long before we do, what we need and place people in our lives to show us those things. And again I pray you will show us where we can be your hands and feet in your world around us. Amen.