So, What Do We Do on a Mission Trip?
I know that a lot of people have never gone on a mission trip. And because I know that, I understand why people often seem puzzled by what we could possibly do there, or how they might ever be able to contribute if they went on such a trip. Despite my annual announcement that The Joy Center, our host in Big Creek, deep in the Kentucky mountains, always has a list of projects that need done, and will always find something for us to do regardless of who comes with us, and regardless of the skills (or lack of them) that we have. And so, rather than just saying that there are all sorts of things that need done, this year we made a list of all the things that we did, and a couple that were left undone when we ran out of time. What follows is a list of nineteen (19) projects that were on our to do list. Most of them got done, but a few didn’t. I’m including the projects that didn’t get done so that you might better understand how, if even one more person (like you) had gone with us, we might have been able to do even more.
- Inspect, repair, scrape, and paint the emergency exit stairs in the back of the church sanctuary.
- Inspect, repair, and seal the deck on the back of the church parsonage.
- Make an opening through the stone foundation in the back of the Joy Center building so that a vent could be added under the building to dry out the crawl space.
- Install a vent fan in the sale room (Undone)
- Mow grass (there is a LOT of grass, and even with their new mower, it takes someone several hours)
- Clean the center section of the tool barn and throw out broken or unusable items. (Undone)
- Paint the benches in the outdoor worship area of Mount Joy.
- Trim trees along the playground of the Child Development Center.
- Repair, replace, and paint trim around the church windows first and second floor).
- Weed flower beds, put down landscape fabric, and add new mulch.
- Trim bushes in front of the church parsonage.
- Replace oven burner in Nancy’s (their full-time volunteer) stove.
- Fix storm door (replace door closer).
- Trim and cut down trees above Mount Joy and behind the tool barn.
- Move fire pit.
- Paint benches at the ball field.
- Help sort clothing at the sale room in preparation for their monthly sale.
- Unload our trailer full of donated furniture, clothing, and other items.
- Hold a card making class for interested persons in the community.
As you can see, we did all kinds of things using a great variety of skills. Some projects were difficult, others required only the ability to use a paint brush, a sledgehammer, or even a pair of scissors. What’s more, for the last several years, we’ve somehow managed to take along a volunteer that loved to cook and who just took over our evening meal preparation. But this year we didn’t have anyone like that, so someone would always have to stop working an hour or so before dinner so that there would be something to eat when the rest of us quit for the day.
And none of those things include the personal conversations that we have with the people of Big Creek, and the encouragement that we are to them as they are reminded that God, and God’s people, haven’t forgotten them.
Certainly, there are things on this list that you would be able to do. And, while I have no idea what next year’s list is going to look like, you can be sure that it too will include things that you can do. There is always more to do at The Joy Center mission than the few volunteers there have time to do by themselves. Anything and everything that we do is a huge help and encouragement to everyone there.
Why not come with us next year?
Did you enjoy reading this?
Click here if you would like to subscribe to Pastor John’s weekly messages.
Click here to subscribe to Pastor John’s blog.
Click here to visit Pastor John’s YouTube channel.