Navigator Cover Article written after the 2019 trip:
West Virginia! Wild and Wonderful! These words are so very apt in describing our mission trip this past week, July 14-21. Our team of 12 traveled 3 hours south to work with an organization called Group Missions, and boy did we work! The week’s theme was “Relentless” and we focused on God’s relentless pursuit of us. We specifically looked at King David and the example he set for us believers.
Mission trips take a lot of preparation. This year was no different, and with the added work of forming a brand new Mission Trip Committee, the work began last year around this time. After multiple fundraisers, purchasing tools, planning, and all that goes into preparation- we were ready to go!
We arrived in Elkview, West Virginia, Sunday afternoon and on Sunday night we received our packet outlining the work they had prepared for us to do. We were set to help Joyce, an elderly woman who lived in Elkview. The plan was to paint her roof with a sealant, paint her existing porch, build a new porch off of the back of her trailer, and a wheelchair ramp off of her existing porch in the front. Does that sound like a lot to you? To us non-carpentry people it was overwhelming to say the least! We expressed our concerns to our site manager, Denny, and he assured us that with God all things are possible- and indeed they are!
Throughout the week we did our best with our limited skills and by Wednesday night we had done all that we knew how to do. Thursday morning came and we showed up to our worksite greeted by 2 new crews of helpers- including (sound the trumpets) experienced carpenters! Praise the Lord! By Friday afternoon we finished all of our tasks just in time!
The experience really got me thinking about tools. As a youth director, carpentry is not really high on my list of skills. As I prepared I had to coordinate all of the tools we brought and there were several that I had to ask, “what is this one?” Looking at the task set before us on Sunday night I would love to say that somehow God supernaturally bestowed me with the wisdom to build a wheelchair ramp, but that is not often how God works. God didn’t give me super strength or carpentry skills, but what He did do was give me the people who did have those skills.
I thought of David in the Bible. God called and anointed him when he was a child! And when David took care of Goliath, it wasn’t because he was able to match Goliath’s strength that he succeeded. It was because God provided him with the tools and the courage he needed to get the job done. David had a slingshot and 5 smooth stones. Our team had the tools and willing hearts and God provided the rest for us.
This year’s trip was such a wild and wonderful experience. Our adult leaders were amazing, our students worked so hard and we all really grew and got a lot out of the worship and devotion times. I want to thank each of them for being willing to go and allow God to use them as a tool to serve Joyce and the town of Elkview.
If you are considering going on next year’s mission trip I strongly encourage you to talk to me. We have amazing students who just want to serve and grow and they will be a blessing to you! And if you have carpentry skills- even better!
To God Be the Glory!
Former Youth Director