Summer Mission Trip 2010 - Mount Hope, WV
For our 2010 Summer Mission Trip, the youth went to Mt. Hope, WV to help families in the community who needed but could not afford home repairs that had been caused by recent flooding. For this week, we lived in a local Presbyterian church. On the first day of the trip, the youth were divided into small groups. Each group had a chaperone and was assigned one day out of the week to cover group responsibilities. Group responsibilities included: cleaning up after breakfast, making and packing lunches for the worksite, packing tools for the work site, cleaning and unpacking tools when we returned from the work site, cooking dinner and cleaning up after dinner, and leading the evening reflection time.
The youth met together in these same small groups during morning gathering. The youth had morning devotionals that were written for them by folks they know and who love them (Michael Usey, Peggy Haymes, Anna Marie Rogers, and Marnie and Daniel Ingram). The youth also competed together in these small groups. The small groups were designated colored bandanas to distinguish their group from the other groups, and at the beginning of the week, each group created a mascot for their team out of things they find around the church.
We concluded each day with an evening worship time and a time a group fellowship. The worship time included some formal elements of worship and some more casual elements of reflection. The theme for the week was “Converge.” Romans 12:9-19 was the scripture that guided our reflection, and each day had a different focus: consider, connect, contribute, and converge. Each worship experience was led by a different chaperone and included a lighting of the candle, a call to worship, some discussion, songs, and a prayer response. Each small group was also responsible for helping to lead an evening reflection time.
The work we did within the community of Mt. Hope was most significant for our youth. During the week we were able to complete renovations on two homes in the community. For one family we cleaned debris from the yard, cut down unruly shrubbery, and re-fenced the back yard. On another house we repainted and re-roofed the front porch. The youth worked hard, challenged themselves, embraced this week as a learning experience and rallied around one another. The amount of work we got done is a testament to their commitment. This part of our trip was also significant because our youth formed relationships with the families for whom they were doing work. The youth were exposed to and learned from a community and a culture with which they were not familiar before this trip.