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Day 2 recap (Monday, July 1, 2013)
Our first day of service began to the sounds of Nickelback blaring across the middle school gym that has become our sleeping quarters. The first night went well (everyone was more than ready to go to sleep when lights were turned off). We gathered outside for morning devotions along with the other groups we are serving beside (Centreville United Methodist from Centreville, MD, and Olivet Presbyterian Church from Charlottesville, VA).
Morning devotions invited us to consider what things we are “chasing after” and whether or not those things are real and truly valuable. We gathered for breakfast and then went about preparing to head to our work sites.
In order to protect the privacy of the families being served, each site has been given a code name. The teams from St. Luke are working on the “Nutty Banana” and “Chocolate Cherry Love” sites.
Here are our team rosters:
Adults: Steve M. & Kim S.
Youth: Miranda M., Amani H., Michael S., Mason M. & Natalie M.
Adults: Gary B., Dave W. & Elizabeth M.
Youth: Sam M., Jamie W., Katharine G. & Gillian H.
John M. & myself are “floating volunteers” that deliver supplies and offer support where needed.
Team NB will be installing drywall in a basement followed by taping/painting. Team CCL is installing vinyl skirting around the outside of a house.
John & I delivered lumber and drywall to 2 other sites and then joined Team CCL just before 11am. The youth members of the team had already mastered the task of installing the vinyl and would spend the day doing a superb job with little need for adult interference. The adult team members focused on the framing work that prepared the house for the youth experts to succeed. The team also spent quality time getting to know the family members at the house. Sam M. Spent a lot of time building a relationship with the younger boy who lives there, including inviting him to help with the work and playing together.
The teams reunited by 5pm at the middle school. Team NB did drywall work and spackling as well as digging out and replacing a basement window. They were met at their worksite by a young and very active boy. They spent some of their time doing what felt like babysitting, but hopefully will build relationships as they look ahead to the remainder of the week. The boy disrupted the team’s work at times, but the team members pressed on and showed patience and loving care.
After returning to the school, we all enjoyed showers that were extra refreshing as there is no hot water available.
During dinner we were joined by Walter Crouch, the CEO of Appalachia Service Project, who shared appreciation to all the volunteers for taking a week and joining this mission. It was a special opportunity to be greeted by ASP’s leader. Mike S. & I (Matt) were invited to lead music during the evening gathering. I played guitar and MIke rocked the ukulele. What followed was some great conversation about the things that we chase after and how Jesus’ call to service invites us in a different direction.
The evening ended with a trip to a local business to buy ice cream. I also invited our group to consider the words of Paul:
If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance. You are Christ’s body––that’s who you are! You must never forget this. [1 Cor 12:26-27 from The Message]
The two teams, which had notably different experiences, were encouraged to both share their experience and listen to the experiences of each other. Our hope is to build a sense of community where everyone in the group will feel invited and heard as we experience the joys and challenges of this week.
It was a good start to a great week!