As told by Camryn Crawford:
Today was definitely the most difficult morning since I’ve been on the trip; all of us have been getting about 6-7 hours of sleep each night which is a huge adjustment at least for me because I’m used to getting about 10-11 hours of sleep each night during the summer but it’s okay because it just helps start our day earlier which means more time to serve this awesome community! After I ate my scrumptious breakfast meal consisting of cereal and poptarts I headed out to our first site of the day. We were assigned to pull weeds out of this lady’s garden in her front yard. It was around the length of 6 feet and 5 feet wide, so with 8 people it only took us about 20 minutes. My group then headed back to the relief center to help out with mowing, weed eating, and picking up grass, it was super fun considering it was only 115 degrees out. I ate my yummy lunch of PB&J then my group and one other headed to another work site which was a house in a neighborhood that had been brutally damaged by the tornado. I got to pick up debris and mow 2 lawns. Between the pain of rocks and pebbles hitting my legs and the gallons of sweat I could feel beating off my entire body, it was hard to find the good in the situation. Yet, this one lady came up to us and said that she had noticed our hard work and wanted to give us some waters, it was really nice to know that someone had noticed all our hard work we have been putting in. Come three o’clock, mostly everyone in my group was very exhausted and hungry so we wrapped up our site and went to the Quick Trip gas station. I rode back to the relief center for dinner and we ate baked ziti, bread, salad, and some great banana pudding. The lady who works at the relief center said she was really proud of all our hard work so she said we deserved to have a water balloon fight! It was really fun and refreshing yet gross to see all the dirt slide off my leg, but hey it was fun to nail some people! We went back to the church we’re staying at and got ready for bed. Overall it was a great day and I grew some deeper relationships with the people on this trip.
As told by Will Corona:
Being in the same group as Cam, most of my thunder has been stolen. Although today was so far the roughest day of the week, I was glad I was able to see the way God was working in me and in people in this community. For starters, every time we got back to home base, First Baptist Garland, I had this feeling that I recognize from Collide Impact Weekend and other service projects. It’s this feeling of satisfaction that I have not felt anywhere else, a feeling that I was doing the work of God. The community was the best part of serving, specifically the sincerity of the community’s feedback. On the first day, a truck drove by what was the remains of his step-son’s house, a pile of rubble we were transporting into a dumpster. He thanked us for all we were doing for not only his family but what we were doing in the community. Today, as Cam touched on, a woman driving past our work site brought us two cases of water and thanked us for all the work we were doing in her community. So far this week I’ve noticed just how much this community needed workers of God to help them recover from a tornado that struck their homes six months ago. The energy, persistence, and dedication to our projects could only be due to the prayers of those wearing prayer bracelets, and to all others praying for those on the trip I thank you. I’m so excited to have one mission trip under my belt and I can’t wait to see where God will take our ministry next.
As told by Roxy Odiorne:
This morning, they told us all 4 groups would be working on yardwork. My thought was, “Cool, I like to mow, this should be fun.” But when my group got in the van, they said, “Change of plans! This group will be moving a big pile of bricks.” And I thought, “Great…bricks…” I prayed to God and asked Him for a good attitude and cheerful spirit, since I knew I was having a selfish mindset. When we got there, there was a huge stack of bricks, rock, and concrete bits that we had to clear by putting in buckets, walking around to the front of the house, putting in a giant dumpster, and going all the way back. About two buckets in, I was thinking, “This is hot, this is heavy, this stinks.” However, there were these construction workers across the street who were using our same dumpster, and I started chatting with one of them. I told him we were on our high school mission trip, and he said, “That’s so cool! We’re so grateful you’re here; you’re such a blessing. ” And that reminded me how blessed I was, and how grateful I was to be able to serve these suffering people. And after that, each bucket-load didn’t seem so heavy; the sun didn’t feel so scalding. (A TOTAL God thing). We ended up forming a brick assembly line, and it felt so good to be working and pushing together, all to be able to help this hurting family. When we finished 4 hours later, I felt this joy at being able to help them with their problem. Later, we were working in their garden, and it was FILLED with weeds, some almost as tall as me. The lady hadn’t been able to work in it because of glass shards (she’s on blood thinners), and it saddened me that no one had come to help her over the course of 6 months. Again, I felt this huge surge of gratefulness that we were here to help them. Finally, the lady told us how the night of the tornado, they were planning on going to the Saturday night service, but she had a huge migraine and planned on staying in her bedroom to rest. However, she felt God speaking to her, saying that she needed to come worship Him. The family went, and while they were at church, the tornado struck. The bedroom that woman would have been laying in was the worst hit, and filled with glass shards. She told us she would have been sliced, and because of the blood thinners, she surely would have died. We were in awe at her testimony and the power and protection of our Mighty God. I am so grateful to get to serve on this trip. It’s been an exhausting few days, but we have already done incredible things. I’m excited for Day 3 and 4!
As told by Nick English:
We did yard work today. I mowed this one women’s yard who was really nice. I mowed her lawn and she tried to pay me 20 dollars. That just showed me how much she appreciated us being there and helping. I also mowed the lawn of people who hadn’t been back since the tornado. There was so much stuff all over the ground and I couldn’t believe how much devastation the tornado did. The fences were bent and there were parts of the roof all over the ground. I did the best I could to clean it up. I hope that the work we did there helped the family out. It was hard work, but in the end it was worth it.
As told by Aaron Parks:
Today was a very moving day for me, we helped clean up a house that got completely destroyed in the tornado. They lost everything, had no time to grab anything of importance. In the Bible, Job lost everything and that is what today made me think of, the people in this small Texas town lost everything and God really moved today through the neighborhoods of Rowlett, I thought there was no way that we could get as much done as we did. I believe this was a test for the believers and non-believers: Can you stay faithful to God even when things aren’t going your way? That’s what I believe that God showed to me, that he can take anything away at any time, he gives and takes away. So no matter what happens you still need to be faithful and believe.
As told by Kat Patterson:
Starting out today, I was expecting something straight out of a horror movie. Despite my thoughts, my work site was very different. We pulled into this nice and well-off neighborhood, and most all of the houses looked normal, but of course the tornado had hit one or two of them.We worked on four houses, and got all of them done within an hour.So, we decided to walk around the corner to help two ladies.
As we arrived at the house, the ladies had a lot of work to be done. So we hopped in and made a lot of progress, cutting the grass that was almost five feet high. By the end of this, their lawn had been mowed, edged, weed-eated and cared for in any way it needed. The ladies were so gracious and thankful and to see the progress that would’ve taken all day with the two of them.
Lastly, we went to a house that was exactly what I was expecting. As I walked around the property, I observed everything around me. The Roof was missing, and the entire house was demolished. I teared up at the fact that someone had this happen to their home. So my emotions acted as something that inspired me. We ended up fixing up the entire house, which helped the family not have to pay the city ordinance. It impacted me so greatly, even though I never met the family.
I think that today was the start of an amazing week. I know that everyone feels the same way, and that we can accomplish so much over the next couple of days. I’m so blessed to be a part of this and can’t wait to see what’s in store this week.
As told by Jamie Downs:
I am so excited for this week!!
We started off the trip driving to Waco for dinner, and then drove to the church we are staying at. I am so happy I am able to come on this trip with some of my close friends and work on whatever projects they have for us. Once we got to the church , we set up our air mattresses and got everything squared away, and then we all met in a room and talked about how the rest of the night is going to go and how the week is going to go. After, we were able to go in the gym and play basketball, or go in our rooms and play board or card games. It is an exciting week for me being able to build new relationships with some of the underclassmen and also building stronger ones with my old friends. I am super stoked for a great week! -jamie downs
As told by Jacob Rogers:
I can tell this is going to be a great week!
We drove to get some food in waco, we ate some nice nutricious fast food! Then we carried on to the curch that we are currently at, and unloaded the luggage and food from the trailer! After we finished that, we went into the meeting room and Shanna told us the plan for the week – I’m excited for the opportunity to serve this community. Then we were released to free time and I balled up on everybody, of course. Then I got super tired and took a shower and am about to go to sleep! Please pray for us tomorrow as we go to our worksites and engage with the people of the community. Goodnight! -the one and only JACOB ROGERS!!!!