We had been traveling on 90 west for hours, literally. Our group consisted of eighteen people packed into two church vans. Our destination was thirteen hours from our hometown, and to make matters worse, fourteen of the people on the trip were men.Now before you start judging me for this statement , let me explain why this was a bad thing. We had only stopped every six hours for a bathroom break! It seems men can go forever without using the restroom; but a women, well , she can’t.
Twelve hours and two bathroom-break stops later, we had finally entered the state of the middle of no-where. When i woke up and looked out the window, I saw corn on every side of me for hundreds of flat, boring miles. We had reached the state of Iowa.Why in the world we were traveling to Iowa you ask, well honestly, thats the very same question i asked myself when i signed up to pay three-hundred dollars to go on this trip, in the middle of my summer vacation. All i knew was we were goin there to help rebuild people’s house, because they had a need.
At the beginning of the trip thats all it was to me. Wake up excessively early, paint a house for five hours, talk to the resident about their life, try to help them with other needs, then going back to where we were staying, taking showers, hanging out, and going to bed. I thought the trip was merely a schedule of things to do; but the longer we were there the more alive the trip became. There were bands with great music every night and hang out sessions in which our youth group bonded in a way i’ve never seen before; but the thing that was most special was hearing the residents storys.
One resident was having a wheel chair ramp built for her son, who suffered a terrible tragedy only eight months earlier, and will probably never be able to walk again. Another resident, whose name was Opal, a one-hundred and three year old woman, was having her house re-painted. She was the sweetest elderly lady; she came outside to try to help her volenteers in any way possible and made them lunch every day. She also told her volenteers her life story of which was touching and showed her wisdom.
The trip came to an end thursday night, in which we had a final closing service in which I believe every-one was touched. At the beginning of the trip we were all out of our routines and comfort zones; but by the end of the week we felt peacefully at home. Life is soo much more than a routine schedule like so many adults treat it. Get up, go to work, come home, make and eat dinner, take care of the kids, and go to bed. Spending time with with loved ones and helping others in need is soo important, because time is short. You never know how long you have, and making a positive difference in the world is the best legacy you can leave behind.
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