Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"We want to work!"

After a quick trip to Oregon, I am back and can continue the story....

As I said, we had a couple of days of feeling like we needed to do more. From the beginning I mentioned how much I love these kids. Hopefully you are beginning to understand why and maybe love them a bit yourself....I should highlight that these kids worked hard to get the money for the trip as well. They did car washes, yard work, dog walking, jobs, babysitting, and asking friends, family and business for donations. Each of them came up with 700.00 and I am darn proud of them! They raised the money to go and spend a week working and darn it, they wanted to WORK!

My group spent a couple of days doing things around the camp
but never interacting with many people. They felt like they hadn't met any families or been very challenged by the chores they had been given.

Arrival of days 3 and 4 were awesome! After whining to Head
Honcho Rob, we were able to switch it up a bit and my group was able to head out into Kentucky at long last.

We met up with our CAP worker, and headed off to the home of a sweet lady named "D". She is a single mom who is raising her two children, 4 abandoned kittens, and a classic Southern front porch puppy! I spent a bit of time talking with her and found that her family went back in this particular holler as long as anyone could remember or know. She was one of 15 children in her own family, and they all remain in the holler and are quite close. She said she hardly knows anyone outside of her own family, and besides, who needs friends when you have that many siblings!

D was in a small mobile home and it was in great need of updating. CAP is a local organization that is amazing!! Go check it out HERE
Basically they determine need and work it all out with the people they serve. They have on going projects and we just come in and help them where they are at on specific sites. Unlike Mexico, there isn't a clear completion of a project (like building a house) but we still made a lot of progress.

D's house had already been roofed and new decks built. Sh
e had a door that opened to nothing and a deck was made for it. We showed up and finished the deck, railings and spindles. We also finished much of the new siding and soffetts around the house. Oh, and did I mention how much I love my highschool friends? They used their lunch time to build a dog house for the puppy out of scrap material! We were also able to clean up all of the debris left over from the project, which was a huge pile in her front yard.

We instantly loved this little family and she was so kind to all of us. She was out with us all day, each day, appreciative and open to conversation about everything. We learned so much about her, and I know none of us will ever forget this amazing woman! I think we all made a loving impression on her as well.

The days were long and hot, and the work was rewarding. I think it is also safe to say that the kids I hang out with came away with what they wanted to experience...truly helping someone out and making an impact for the better. They learned that you make an impact in the world in big ways that are tangible and in small ways that may never be seen. While the work at D's house seemed like it was the most significant, I know for a fact that the work we did around the camp was profound. It was helping the people who serve there day in and day out. It was coming along side of people who also get little recognition and giving them some encouragement in what they do each and every day. We got to see both sides of serving, great humility and sweet reward.