2017 Mission Trip Blog
2017 First Presbyterian Mission Team
Mission Trip 2017
Sunday, July 23, 2017
After a great send off from our fine folks of First Presbyterian Church, Kernersville we headed up the road for our final destination in Pinch, WV. This is where we will be staying this week. The girls are part of a larger group in the gym with their air mattresses on home made bunk bed frames, along with the rest of the female population. The boys are in rooms of their Sunday School wing, with our group being in the nursery...think they are trying to tell us something?
We picked up our 13th team member along the way, and after a meal of pizza, we headed off for our initial worship service. We will give you another update tomorrow after the real work begins! Stay tuned and keep those prayers coming.
God is Good!
Monday, July 24, 2017
Our mornings this year begin with 7:00am wake up calls, breakfast at 7:15am, morning devotions and stretching exercises all before we start heading out to the real work! Our team has been divided up into a couple different projects.
The tin roof job was not a rumor, and indeed several of our group were up in the hot sun shine laying down the large sheets of tin roofing. They made great progress, but will be back on the job tomorrow for more fun.
The other part of our group are working on the framing and outside application of sheathing for a new building started by last week’s work crews. Much of the work has been in the higher areas of the building so it has been a little slow, but with all the up and down on the ladders, nobody needs to worry about doing their stairmaster excercises! It is such a joy to work side by side with this crew and they are so dedicated to the cause.
The actual work site is in Clendenin, WV. The downtown area of this little town was under water in last year’s floods, deep enough to completely cover vehicles parked in the parking lots.
Check in tomorrow for more news from your Mission Team.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Some more good progress was made on both our projects today. The sheathing is almost complete on the new building and we are starting the work on getting the roof ready for getting covered. There was a lot of hammering going on today!
The metal roofing crew had to back up a few steps to correct a misalignment from a previous work crew, but then powered forward and accomplished a lot again today.
We had a powerful lunch devotional time that involved a couple of the locals who happened to be visiting with us as we finished our lunches. We received some very interesting and thought provoking insights from total strangers. That is the essence of mission work, is it not?
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Our morning started cool and damp as went through our usual start of the day routines with our Next Step Ministries hosts. That changed pretty quickly as the haze burned off and then it was full on July summer day. Sunscreen and plenty of water was critical for working outside today!
Progress was made on both projects, but getting down to the detailed work where each part has to measured three times before cutting makes it seem like work was slower today.
Our evening service was a strong message tonight and this group got into some very in depth discussions during our evening gathering. I absolutely love the openness of the members of our Mission Teams throughout the years as we share our concerns, doubts, beliefs and love.
Tomorrow is our final day of field work and the weather forecast is for afternoon thunderstorms. We will let you know how that turns out.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
As we were finishing up our morning routines, the rumbling and rain lightly began and we were afraid the day was going to be a complete loss. By the time we drove the 25 minutes to Clendenin and our work site, the rain had missed us (for now at least) and we unpacked the tools.
All the final parts of the new building are the high and rather difficult work. Nailing up the final triangles of the sheathing at the peak of the end gable and getting the rafters set for the street side eave overhang were on the list of jobs for the day. We successfully got all but one small triangle up and one eave up, and then with people standing on tall aluminum ladders we heard the first (and quite powerful) clap of thunder. Hmmm, metal ladders and thunderstorms, this does not sound like a healthy combination.
So we broke for lunch in one of the ball field dugouts and some of the bunch entertained the rest of the group as they enjoyed the effects of the rain on the ball diamond. We can make a fun time out of most any situation!
Thank you for all your kind thoughts and prayers!
Friday, July 28, 2017
Our work at the Little League fields ended yesterday. As always we wish we could have done more and gone further, but we must remind ourselves again and again, it is not really about the work that gets done or the number of nails driven, it is about sharing the good news of God’s love. And as we found out this week from members of the Clendenin community it is also about receiving that same love and sharing in return.
We did get to relax today and spent some time wandering a shopping mall in Charleston, WV and then headed over to a movie theater to watch the new Spiderman movie.
Following our final night’s worship service, we had a quiet event of washing feet and praying for and with each member of our group as well as Sophia and Jacob who have been working with us all week. We have so much to be thankful for in each and every one of these disciples of varying ages as they have shared their blessings and gifts with this community and each other. Someone, please remind me to get a couple boxes of tissues to take with me for these closing night events. You would think I would know that by now!
Thanks for your continued prayers, and praying for a safe journey home tomorrow.
Saturday, July 29, 2017
I have to confess, I am writing this on Sunday, sorry about the delay.
The departure day ran pretty smoothly. Our group was up and packed and all organized pretty much right on time without having to put out multiple reminders. Such a great group of disciples! When we say we are intergenerational we are serious, there is a 50 year spread between our youngest and oldest participant.
We decided to stop in Beckley, WV for a breakfast/lunch before heading in our separate ways. All have reported safe arrivals for their returns, and for that we give prayers of thanks. God is Good!
This group has been one of loving, caring and nurturing to the community of Clendenin, WV and to each other throughout this week long journey. The catch phrase for Next Step Ministries summer mission trip series is “Truth & Dare”. Know the Truth & Dare to Live It. I know that our journeys and paths will continue to be full of adventures, some simple, some challenging, and some deeply challenging. But with the love of our brothers and sisters in Christ and the Truth, we are never alone in our journey.
Truth & Dare!