I have noticed that things come into life when you least expect it whether good or bad. This summer I needed an internship for school. Guess what? I did not get one. So I had been scrambling for odd jobs ever since I got home from my travels, basically looking for activities to fill my time that I wish was being used to travel some more. Any who… I had one of those days that was just one thing after another and to top the end of the day off I had a dentist appointment. I am sure most of you may hate the dentist but mine is awesome. It is an experience in itself.
I was their last patient of the day and afterwards, my dentist, the secretary, and I just sat around and talked for a while. My dentist was talking about how one of her other patients had texted her saying that he was desperate for another leader for a mission trip to West Virginia. She was saying how there was no way she could close down her business for a whole week. Without any thought I told her to give him my number and that I would go. So, she did and I spoke with him, Colin, the following day.
Colin asked me numerous times if I was 100% sure I wanted to take on this group of teens and wanted to make sure that I knew what I was getting myself into. Realistically, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that I have always wanted to go on a mission trip but have never known of any, that I loved kids, and of course needed something to do!
So, a week later I am in a van on my way to West Virginia with twenty five teenagers.
We had a very large group so they split us up. Half of us worked on a ramp for an elderly woman, and the other half worked on a roof for a large family. I was with the group working on the roof. Which quickly turned from a roof to a wall project.
The first day on the site… it poured down rain so we were only able to work for half of the day. The problems started when one kid stepped on a soft spot of the roof and managed to fall through (don’t worry, no injures). That is when we found the termites… everywhere.
The following day, another boy fell through the roof and shortly after, another went head first (again no injures). The second day the contractor showed up. He was in charge of four different sites so it was hard to claim him for a day. When we showed him the areas with the termites he said that it was a mix or several different insects that had infested the roof. He had us pull up the whole area and then we even found the infestation had rotted out more than half of the back wall and that needed to be replaced before we could even begin on the roof itself. We managed to get a lot done when Kim the contractor was around.
It was hard at times because we did have a group of great teens who really wanted to help but with the damage the water and termites had done to the roof, it was hard to keep them busy when only so many people could be used at once. So we decided to pick up a new task for them. Long story short, the family that we were helping had many adorable animals and one of which was a pit bull named, Prince. So, we decided to build him a new dog house.
After we finally began to make progress on the roof, that was it. It was time to leave the site. We said goodbye to the owners and they thanked us and were so appreciative of all the work we had accomplished. We left and went of a short hike (if you ask any of the teens though they will tell you it was not a short hike) up to a beautiful view of the New River Gorge Bridge. We spent quite a while there taking pictures and enjoying the scenery before heading back for a very emotional chapel.
On our final full day of the trip we went white water rafting. I had gone white water rafting before and hated it because it seemed to have just been a whole lot of paddling and not a whole lot of rafting and was concerned that this would be similar. I pushed Colin to switch us over to the more intense trip but he but he said that would not be the smartest idea for this group. I understood what he meant moments after we got on the water that this group liked to jump out of the rafts… quite a lot. The rapids where fun and we had a great time. I ended up burnt to a crisp but it was worth it.
At the end of the trip Colin asked me if the trip lived up to my expectations but the truth is, I did not have any expectations going into the trip but it was easily one of the best weeks of my life. I only wish I could have experienced something like this sooner.