The summer of 2008 was not spent as a typical teen spends their summer. Mine was full of logistics, travel arrangements, driving, and a lot of headaches. My father is the youth leader for my United Methodist youth group. In the past years, we have traveled to Tennessee participating in Group Work camps, Ohio, and most recently – New Hampshire. My parents, sister, and I are heavily involved in our church and our church ministries, and we spent countless hours researching, and making final plans for our trip to Rochester, New Hampshire in the summer of 2008.
It was a gorgeous Thursday morning, the group of 15 pulled into my driveway to have a send off prayer by our newly appointed pastor. She bid us our farewells and we were off. It was a long drive, nothing really to look at. We played countless numbers of car games and sang too many songs to count. But finally, we hit the Massachusetts border. For a typical person, this would mean nothing at all. But for us, it meant Frisbee time. We play Frisbee in every state we enter. I think we’re up to about 15 states in all. After a quick game of Frisbee we were off to start our travel ministry.
We entered the state of New Hampshire, and what should have taken us an hour – took us about three hours. We hit torrential downpour, heavy thunder and lightning, and major flooding. After some prayers, we finally hit our hotel – the Holiday Inn Express in Rochester, New Hampshire. We checked in, unpacked, and met in the dining room for some delicious pizza. After a long days drive and some fellowship together, we all headed to bed. It’s pretty sad when you have 13 teenagers in bed at 9:30, isn’t it?
The next morning we awoke to a yummy breakfast. We met downstairs as soon as we all got through the showers. But wait; remember the rain I told you about earlier? It was still raining. The rain didn’t stop us from spreading God’s love, so once again, we loaded up the van to travel to our first stop – an elderly lady’s home, of which we repainted her wheelchair ramp, cleaned and organized her garage, and fixed the holes in her garage. On the way to the site, a miracle happened. We started singing the infamous Christian song “Shine, Jesus, Shine” and the rain let up and the sun came up. It brought tears of joy to our faces. With a group our size the work took no time at all, and the lady was more than thankful for our work. We gave our hugs and said our goodbyes, and we were on our way to our next job site.
The weekend continued – doing more work in the name of our Lord. Perhaps the most touching part of the weekend was when we were invited to speak in front of the church congregation Sunday afternoon before heading back home to Auburn, New York. We were all very modest, saying that we do this stuff not only for us, but also for the Lord. It wasn’t two seconds later that a man stood up and said we were ‘Angels sent from God’. That hit it home right there. We thanked him with tears flowing from each and everyone’s eyes, and continued on our journey home. By far, this was one of the highlights of my life as a ‘Christian in Motion’, as we say. We saw what a true miracle was that trip, it was us, and we never even realized it.
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