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.