Today I Saw God
Editor's Note: Last week 16 middle school students and fiveleaders traveled to Romney, West Virginia to participate in theJeremiah Project. The following is a blog post from one of the students on the trip, Charlie Miller.
It was my first year on a mission trip as well as my first year at Jeremiah Project (JP), and I wasn't sure what to expect. But as soon as I got there I was glad because the minute I entered everyone was so friendly and cheerful, including the staff. Oh, and JP has amazing food.
They divided us into teams for the work projects we were to do each day. The team I was placed in had only one other person from our church (our leader, Scott), but our team actually got along great!
One of our homeowners was Mrs. Hose. She told us that she had died twice and that dying was peaceful. She said that now she wasn't afraid to die and go back to God.
While we were working, she brought us some Cokes. When we were finished with the steps and she came out to check our work, the look of joy on her face made building those steps worth the while.
Editor's Note: Last week 16 middle school students and fiveleaders traveled to Romney, West Virginia to participate in theJeremiah Project. The following is a blog post from one of the students on the trip, Sydney Schneider.
During the mission trip there were plenty of sermons, but one sermon really stood out and helped me grow in faith with God. The key word in worship that day was "love," and the verse was 1 Peter 1:22.
The verse states, "Since you have purified your souls by obedience to the truth, so that you have a genuine love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from a pure heart." Summarized, this verse says to love others with all your heart.
Throughout worship, we got to acknowledge all the people in our life who have impacted us. We learned that by loving others with our whole heart, we can have a big impact on them.
I really felt a connection with God when we were told to write the names of everyone who has impacted us on a little black piece of paper cut into the silhouette of a face. As I was writing all the names of friends and family while reflecting upon all that was said in worship, I realized just how much love is in my life. I could feel the presence of God with me. Thanks to the Jeremiah Project, my faith and trust in God has grown tremendously.
Editor's Note: This week 16 middle school students and fiveleaders traveled to Romney, West Virginia to participate in the Jeremiah Project. The following are updates from two of the students on the trip.
I went to the Jeremiah Project this year. I want to share what it was like on the worksite. You have to wear jeans at the site, and it is very hot. You have to drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
On the first day you get put on a work team. Your team creates a name for the week. After breakfast, you put in your lunch order and a team member packs a cooler. Then you head out to your site.
Some of the jobs include painting, carpentry or cleaning. One of the hardest jobs is silver sealing. Everything gets sticky and it's very annoying. It was a lot of fun. I loved JP.
Submitted by Wyatt Byrd.
Was there something memorable that a resident said to you on the trip?
Never give up no matter how much work it takes.
What did God show you or say to you on this trip?
God truly does work in mysterious ways.
What was fun or exciting about your service?
Getting to work with people, getting to know them and making new friends.
Submitted by Lindsay Byrd.
Editor's Note: Last week seven middle school students and twoleaders traveled to Winchester, Virginia to participate in a Jeremiah Project (JP) mission camp. Students help with a wide range of home repair opportunities, from painting to building wheelchair ramps. The following is a blog post from two of the students, Audrey Kim (A) and Grace Horner (G).
Where did you do good work on this trip?
A: On Thursday, we cleaned some stairs at our homeowner's house with bleach. It was kind of nasty since all the moss that was there started to ooze off and drain down the steps. We also had to do some skirting work on the trailer, and while a lot of us were afraid of what was underneath, the adult leaders on our work group took charge and crawled underneath the trailer.
G: On Tuesday we went to our homeowner's house. We had an original job list to do when we arrived, but we ended up doing much more at our worksite. It wasn't because our homeowner, Mr. Hess, was demanding but rather because he was such a nice and passionate man that it was very easy to say yes to him. We managed to finish the latticework on his desk, weed and mulch his flower beds and paint a flower planter in front of his home. We also push-mowed his entire yard.
Was there something memorable that the homeowner said to you?
G: Mr. Hess had a lot to share with us while we were on the worksite. He shared a lot about his love for trains and also about his wife. One thing he said stuck with me: "Life goes by in an afternoon, and it goes by even quicker when you have someone special to share it with." It was really clear to me that Mr. Hess loved his wife, and while his wife passed away four years ago, he still talked about her as if she were still with us.
Jeremiah Project invites homeowners to a dinner on Thursday night, and Mr. Hess was able to join us. He shared a few words with the camp that night. He said that every time he is able to share stories of his wife, she comes back to life for a few moments. Even though we were only sitting there listening to him, it was really cool to help share that with him.
Where did your faith grow?
A: My faith grew during this trip, especially trusting in not only God but also other people. I received so much support from all the campers, the JP Staff and the adult leaders, which made it easier for me to step out of my comfort zone and do adventurous things.
G: I think I saw my faith really grow after dinner on the last night. I felt that I was in an emotionally vulnerable space because of what Mr. Hess shared with us. I was in a place where I was exactly where I wanted to be. I didn't want to be doing anything else, anywhere else.
During worship, I sang along with all the songs because I knew them so well. And during the message, it felt like our speaker was speaking directly to me. Our topic last night was putting on the helmet of salvation from Ephesians 6:13-17. Even though I have been told my entire life that "Jesus died for my sins," it actually clicked for the first time during worship. It was such a profound moment, and it was so amazing for it to happen at this place where just an hour before, I was splashing around in puddles in the pouring rain.
What was fun about your service?
G: While we did not get to see our own progress day-to-day on one particular worksite, it was amazing to meet the homeowners each day and see how much they appreciated the work we were doing.
The goal of our work wasn't to get pats on the back for what we did, but it gave me such a great feeling when I saw with my own eyes that the work we did was really important.
Editor's Note: This week seven middle school students and twoleaders traveled to Winchester, Virginia to participate in a Jeremiah Project (JP) mission camp. Students help with a wide range of home repair opportunities, from painting to building wheelchair ramps. The following is a blog post from one of the students, Sean Egan.
In Winchester, we worked with our homeowner, Ms. Brown. Her home was in a beautiful place and a quiet neighborhood. It was decorated with many crosses, and she had a lot of pictures of her children, grandchildren and even her great-grandchildren.
At Ms. Brown's home, we painted a wheelchair ramp and removed and replaced the caulk in her bathroom tub. The Jeremiah Project believed that the moldy caulk in her bathroom was becoming dangerous so we were tasked with removing it for Ms. Brown's safety. We had to take putty knives to the existing caulk and remove it. As we were cutting out the old caulk, the unmolded caulk on the inside oozed out.
Ms. Brown was a quiet woman so we didn't really have long conversations. However, I noticed that she used her few words and actions to show how kind she was. For example, when we arrived at her home on the first day, she wasn't there, so we just started working. We worked all day, and then, a few hours before we finished for the day, she arrived. She told us that she was visiting her sister in a home for people with dementia. After she got home, she said hello to us and then called her sister to let her know that she got home safely and that she loves her.
I think God showed through the many selfies we took. Yes, believe it or not, the group took well over 150 selfies with one of the JP junior staff's phones. Taking these selfies helped us bond as a crew on our first day together. They helped us stay loose on our worksite and kept us energized as we took breaks under the hot sun. Having the ability to goof off a little helped us make it through a hard day of work.
Altogether, this trip was a great experience as we worked on Ms. Brown's house with our workgroup to help her live a life that's just a little more comfortable.