That’s right! The Blackhawk Church high school mission trip to Lorain, Ohio is just a few days away! 36 students and 10 leaders will be traveling next week to help on some yet unspecified building projects. What will we build? What will we learn? Who will we meet? How will we grow? All questions to be answered as the week progresses.
Stay tuned for updates by students and leaders as we start our journey on Sunday morning.
From your blog master for the trip, Tom Schwei (This will be my last post. From now on, students and other leaders will be posting).
Hi, my name is Tristan, and I have been working at Donni’s house. Donni is truly a remarkable person as she is provides a loving, stable and caring home to many children who have had to endure abusive households, constantly moving, and in homes unequipped to take care of them. She now has six children living at home, but has fostered many more. The projects my crew undertook was a series of odd jobs around the house ranging from making and painting shutters, to painting rooms, but the odd thing was no matter what project you were on you also had a secondary job. That job was to talk to the kids and make friends. As it turns out that job was far more important than any physical repairs or work that we were doing, as Donni and her kids were sorely lacking human contact. Donni explained to us that many of her children had been bullied at school and have been unable to make friends. One of her children was so afraid of the new people working on the house he hid underneath a boat in the backyard. This was truly remarkable to me because it reminded me that being rich in friends and connections and people is far superior to being rich in material wealth.
Hello! My name is Gabi. For the past few days, I have been a part of the crew working at the home of a woman named Donni. Donni is an amazing person! She currently has six kids living under her roof, but cares for many more during the day. Most of our work this week consisted of painting, building shutters, and a few other projects around her house. At first the work didn’t seem like much, but this allowed us a chance to hear more of Donni’s story. She shared stories about her kids and how much of an impact we have in their lives. She explained that even though our work was a huge help to her, the fact that we were at her home spending time with her kids, who don’t necessarily have many strong friendships, made a greater difference in their lives. One of the things we remember most is from our daily lunch devotionals, Donni taught us the lesson she teaches her kids. She told us to be history-makers. This doesn’t mean that we have to change the world; it just means that every day we should strive to brighten someone’s day, which could be as simple as a smile.
Hello ladies and gentlemen, tis I, Kaleb, here with a tale of strength, heroism and God’s almighty power. I am a part of the crew working on the pavilion this week that has included lots and lots of hole digging. Yesterday, we had finally reached our final hole, which unfortunately had been previously filled with cement when the hole wasn’t yet deep enough. So, three of us were tasked with getting the hole deep enough to allow room for the post. One of the Next Step interns had the idea of sledgehammering a spud bar deep into the cement with the hope of cracking it up so we could just pull out the broken pieces. Great idea, right? Wrong. Nick, one of our fearless leaders, hammered the bar deep into the cement and we were feeling good about our plan until we tried to take the spud bar out. Believe it or not, trying to yank a spud bar out of 4 inches of hardened cement is not as easy as it may seem. I’m talking sword-in-the-stone Excalibur stuck, that boy wasn’t coming out. We set out to try and remove the bar and almost everyone in the worksite gave it a try but to no avail. By now, lunch was growing nearer, it was getting hotter and hotter outside and it seemed all hope was lost. Then, out of nowhere came a cloud and we were blessed with some shade. A feeling came over all of us and we knew the time had come to remove the sword from the stone. Will started going at it, yanking and pulling and twisting the bar all around with the rest of us yelling encouragement for him. Then, the bar came up and we all lost it. Our mission was completed. Now, I tell you that to tell you this, God was very present at our worksite in that moment. Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and you best believe the Joplin story of King Arthur (Will) and Excalibur (the spud bar) shows his mighty power and glory.