Wow! What an amazing week, I can’t believe that it’s already Friday. I was one of the adult leaders on the site for Northwest Harvest and what a blessing I was given to have an amazing group of teens. They all worked very hard and never complained about where they were asked to work. On Tuesday they got the experience of working one of the largest food banks, Yakima OIC, and they truly connected with this opportunity to help serve these wonderful people as well as getting the to chance to hear their stories; when the day was over they begged to work food banks the rest of the week and they did. They got to go to 3 different food banks and help serve people. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart as each and every one of your teens has touched my life forever!
Today was fun because I was immortalized in a food bank in Yakima. We did silhouettes of each other on the side of the building as a mural (which was my idea). We all made different poses and sketched them with pen and then went to town and painted them and made them look good. Also we had a paint war, between Nick, Julie, and I. Julie started it so Nick and me finished it and she got the most paint on her. Also, I got a handprint, in paint, on my butt; thank you Julie. THE END!!!
This mission trip has been my third and final mission trip. Each year I take something different away from the trip. But this year has been such a blessing. Knowing that this year is my final mission trip, I believed that I wanted to leave behind something with the younger generation to take to their next trips. I tried to teach them more than what was asked and to be a leader and take action. They also taught me very much. One in particular was Will Dittmar. At our work site he made the connection with Lucille a little more genuine than I thought it would be. From his acts of kindness and openness to someone new, our connection with Lucille went from strangers to a family. This site wasn’t exactly the worst site you can imagine. But I knew God had a plan for each of us as we embarked on this mission. We are all capable to working hard and getting work done, but I do believe that we were there because something was missing in our own hearts and something was also missing in Lucille’s heart. By our paths intertwining together we were able to be open and feel so good about ourselves. I knew that it was fate for our lives to be crossed because of a prayer of the psalms. I received a Psalm 23 prayer card in a Home Depot parking lot when I was 14, and I have kept in my wallet with me ever single day. I didn’t know why I kept it in there, but I did know that one day it was going to be very special. And it was. On Wednesday Father Ed came and had prayer with us. We prayed for all our families and the things we usually pray for. But when Father Ed asked Lucille what her favorite Psalm was, I knew this was the time that that little card in my wallet was meant to be for her. The following day I lead a prayer with Psalm 23, and I have to say that it was one of the most touching moments I have ever witnessed. Possibly one of the most powerful prayers I have ever prayed. It really meant more to me because it was Lucille’s favorite and she broke down in tears because of the beauty of it.
As our week comes to a close I am both happy and sad that we are finished and we accomplished it. I am happy because the joy we were able to put into the Harris family, but I am sad because for one week I felt like I was part of that family and she was my own grandmother and now I am leaving it. This mission week has taught me lessons I never expected to learn on this trip. I expected to learn humility, and not to be judgmental, but I learned the real lessons of family, and how we connected not just as a mission team but as a whole including everyone that we were able to meet. My mission trip was a trip that I am truly going to remember. I am going to miss everyone I worked with and especially Lucille, because she put a light in my heart that is irreplaceable.
As the week is coming to an end I really started to think about what has happened. From the time we got to our site until we finished I really saw a drastic change. At first the little kids were not too sure about strangers coming into their homes and making changes. But no sooner did we bring out the paint they were right there helping all of us. As for the Mother and Grandmother they stayed at a distance watching TV all the time. This was bothering our team because we couldn’t get them to open up for us until today. The Grandmother had a very interesting story; it involved her being in a prison for 9 years. I feel bad for her because it isn’t her fault and she still has to deal with the consequences from it. I hope that the examples that the Young Neighbors set this week will stick with a lot of the people we’ve met, and stick with us.
- ▼ July (16)