One Week Can Make a BIG Difference!
There were a couple of key questions I asked this year’s students before the mission trip. What does God want to do through you? What do you think He wants to show you about His people in other parts of the country? I love getting a group of high school students out of their day to day routines and comfort zones and seeing them come out of their shells.
In all fairness, this summer’s trip was tough. We had a less experienced team of leaders through our partner organization than we did last year, restrictions with our accommodations and a house to repair that literally needed to be gutted from the inside out that had not had a resident living in it for many, many years. Imagine walking out of your home and locking the door, leaving all of its contents just as you are living in it now. That is what we walked in to. A home whose walls, ceiling, roof and everything inside had been soaked with rain and storms for years and years.
Students kept remarking, “Why would we even fix this house? Doesn’t it make more sense to tear it down and just build a new one?” Just build a new one. This was such a logical statement- totally seems like common sense. If something is broken, we buy a new version. If it is old, we replace it. It would not occur to students in today’s society that there isn’t some organization out there that could provide Miss Paulette with a new home for her sister. Why would she want to keep a home filled with filth and mold? It was unsafe. Shouldn’t it just be condemned?
Let’s talk about foundation. We did a little research on the home we were trying to begin repairs on while in Tennessee and learned that it was built in 1915. That makes the home 100 years old next year. I am not sure about your home, but mine just turned 14. I certainly hope the day comes that someone is fortunate enough to live in my home when it turns 100. Clearly, the foundation of Miss Paulette’ home must be pretty strong for it to still be standing nearly 100 years later. Matt 7: 24-25 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on a solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.” Jesus teaches us that life is a process of building. If something withstands time and is able to weather storms, it must be built on a solid foundation. Jesus is the foundation of our faith and just like rebuilding and repairing a home it takes a good foundation, time, quality materials and hard work.
It is my hope and my prayer that even with the challenging circumstances of this summer’s mission trip, students were able to able to answer these 2 questions and see that their foundation of faith is what brings students like them to help homeowners like Miss Paulette. Our youth group mission is to know that God loves us and to show that love to others. Yep. It is that simple. Maybe students learned that there are individuals out there like Miss Paulette, that have so much faith in the Lord and in their current circumstances, that she would allow a group of high school students to repair her home and get it ready for her ill sister to move into. Jesus sees us exactly how we saw Miss Paulette’s home at the end of our trip. He sees us and our brokenness not as a building that isn’t worth saving and should be torn down, but instead as the ones that He loves so much that He came to die for us. He came to forgive us. To heal us. To set us free. To fill us up and to USE us.