I DISTINCTLY remember being squished on my popped, twin sized, air mattress, facing Kirk and Sara. We’d grown up in the same church since I was 5 and I had seen their faces a dozen times, but it was different this time. This time we had worked together in the rain and dirt, we had seen each other cry, and now we were laughing together. This time I knew the giving, growing souls behind the faces. I actually got to know a lot of fantastic people on that mission trip to Galveston 3 years ago! It hadn’t been my first mission trip; I had gone on ones before to Mexico when I was in 8th grade, but the Galveston trip was my eye-opener.
I WAS a freshman in high school, probably more awkward than I’d like to admit, just trying to figure out what I was supposed to do and where I was supposed to go. So, I signed up for another trip with intentions of it being the same as ones in the past. The first thing that made this trip different though, was location. Or, the lack of, I should say. We didn’t have a place to go. Mexico had been our go-to spot but, at the time, wasn’t very safe for a bunch of white teenagers to talk to strangers. Lucky for us (and not so lucky for the Galveston Islanders), a hurricane had recently stormed through the town and one week before the trip we got a call from a church called the Galveston Vineayard asking for help. Trip= saved. (Needless to say, there wasn't a whole lot of swimming and tanning ^^^^)
NOW THE genius that brought us all together and organized the whole outreach was good ol' Tom. Tom was an older man with a great leadership gift. He would always direct and pray with us. Us teens were really comfortable around him,
like he was one of us. I think its because he was good with joking. You see, Tom was completely bald and a lot of times we'd tease him about it. His head was basically a walking target. We'd even have competitions to see who could dump paint on his head first! Tom knew we loved him though, and he was very important to our group
WE ALSO quickly came across other problems such as not having any showers, building our own, and sleeping on moldy floors. (We used lots of cleaning supplies and trips to Home Depot!) But to be honest, making a shower out of tarp was kinda cool! Normally, I would’ve complained, but somewhere between calling spots in line for the shower and planting flowerbeds in the rain, I made friends and we were having fun! It became apparent to me that our hardships and obstacles made us rely on and turn to each other. We were like a 2nd family to each other. Sharing thoughts and helping each other out. I made many friends on this trip and learned a lot about myself.
LASTLY, I remember the last day. We weren't ready to give each other up yet, so we planned a party for the next day! My parents weren't too pleased with having to share me with this group again, but this group was my home away from home. We learned and grew together. Those were some of my best days, and I would do it all over again!
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