Friday, July 13, 2012
Going to mission in Yakima has been an amazing experience for me. For the past week, I have been working on building ramps for people who can no longer walk down stairs or have some type of disability that prevents them from getting around. We built a bridge for a women who needed help getting from her door to the drive way. We also made 6 inch stairs into 3 inch stairs so a veteran of World War 2 can walk down the stairs easier. We have also built 3 different ramps for elderly people who extremely needed it. It is so nice to see how much people appreciate us. A simple thing like building a ramp means so much and can completely change their life. I never knew I could make so much of an influence on someone like that.
I have also become very close to the people I am working with. I honestly didn’t think I would get along with the people in my group, but we are all so close, and I am sad that our journey is coming so close to the end. Also, the guy who is teaching us how to build ramps has to be the most extraordinary person I have ever met in my life. He is so inspirational, and makes me want to do more in my life. Coming to mission was not what I expected. I got so much more out of my week than I ever thought I would. This is one of the most memorable events I have ever experienced. I can’t wait to see what comes next!
Friday, July 13, 2012
Mission numero tres!
Every mission offers something different to me. Every year I have worked on a different site. This year I was excited to find out that I got put into the ramp group and finally able to meet the extraordinary Lowell. With high expectations for this man, I was still astounded by the man I met. I loved hearing the stories of his full life and working with him to build these structures I never thought I could do.
We started the week by building a “bridge” for a sweet lady. Next day we built shorter stairs for a man with hip problems. The man stayed the whole day outside in the boiling heat to watch (and try to help) us build the stairs. You could tell how gracious he was and excited for his new stairs. On Wednesday, we tackled our first ramp. The first ramp was an eye opening experience. I learned a lot about how a ramp is assembled. After we were done and I sat back looking at it, I was proud of our work. Thursday, we went to work at our next ramp. We met a woman who visited her daughter “365 days a year” at this house to help her. I was inspired by her dedication to her parents and one day hope I am able to help my parents as she does. Today, Friday, we are attempting to finish two ramps. I am excited to fulfill such a goal! My favorite job this week has been the hole driller! I have learned that I really like using drills and really don’t like wasp nests.
This mission, I am in a group that loves country. At first I dreaded all the country I had to listen to but I was amazed at how much it grew on me. I have thoroughly enjoyed my team members. We have bonded. My two leaders have been great and I will never forget the moments we have had. Mission is always a great experience. Thanks to everyone who helped the wonderful week happen.
~Christine Baker, the ramp builder
This has been one of the most inspiring, fun, and motivating experiences I have ever been on! If I had the opportunity to work with the people that I did again I could never pass it up! I love the group so much I feel like we have a special bond and it’s just so much fun working with each of them and I hope to work with each and every one of them again. We all get along great and have really became close. I consider each of them my friends. We have fun together making jokes and even talking about serious topics. The environment we created was just amazing. I love our site manager, Lowell, he is an amazing man and I am just so blessed to even work near him! He has lived such an amazing life and he just inspires me to be the best I can be and to help people to the best of my ability. Pam, where to start… she has been a great leader pulling us all closer together, without her I don’t know where we would be. Matt on the hand… he is learning just as much as we are haha He has been good though! I love working with him and I’m glad he was able to stay the whole trip! I feel I have even more special connections with Paul, Ivy, and Brittany. Not saying I didn’t connect with everyone else Before mission me and Paul had barely spoken but since we have been here I have found him to been a great guy and he is just fun to be around and always comedic! Ivy is just so cool! She is super good at like all sports! She was pretty shy at the beginning of the week but now she is like hilarious! She still doesn’t talk as much as me but when she does everyone laughs Brittany is just like amazing! She is super nice and kind and funny and awesome! We have some pretty great conversations and some pretty close to the heart talks! I am really going to miss her next year because she does so much and she’s so fun to be around and makes me laugh every time she talk to me haha she just amazing I can’t say enough about how much I loved being in this group because it wasn’t just about helping others but it has really helped me into becoming a better person. I love each and everyone and I love the work that we have been blessed to do. I feel like we have helped these people with something simple which will help the day overall be much easier. I love doing the work and getting help from the crew and the people of Yakima have been so nice to us and Lowell has really accepted us by letting us into his home and telling us how he came to do this and he is just the coolest person in the whole world! I BEG that next year I can work with him again because he is just amazing. I love everyone from our church and it’s been such a pleasure working with them all! I also loved meeting the people from all these other places because they all have such kind caring souls and it’s been such a fun time hanging with them and getting to know them! I LOVE MISSION!
~ COLTON BOYLE #33
This is my fourth year at mission and my fourth year building ramps and working with Lowell. Each year is just such an amazing experience. The kids I am working with are incredible. They are so willing to work and have so much energy. The amount of work we have accomplished is phenomenal. We have completed one project per day and we are attemping to complete two today. I have never done more than one ramp in a day since I have been doing this. We will see if we can do it. Our work group has bonded and is extremely close. We laugh, share, cry, talk and so much more together. We have had so many God filled moments on our site. When we go to share them at night with each other you can barely get a word in. Everyone is just bursting to tell theirs and everyone usually has multiple experiences to share. I have been very blessed to work with each and every one of them. Definitely an experience I will not forget.
This is my first time blogging and first time on mission. I was only supposed to step in for one of our leaders for a day but after meeting the group I was in and spent a whole day building I really didn’t want to leave. The kids in my group did not make it any easier at all. I just about cried when they all asked why I couldn’t just stay any way, I could just stay in their group. The adult leader just had too much on his plate and it was easier for me to just stay if possible. My prayers were answered! I was able to stay the whole week and experience a full mission!
The kids in our group are more than just amazing. Some of them didn’t know each other and where pretty quiet and shy, but after a day or so that completely turned around. Our group seems closer then you could ever think seven teenagers could ever get in one week or even in two weeks! Our group spends all day together working then every evening we get together for our group sharing time, our whole group walks all over each other in excitement to share with each other what they appreciated that day. We are the last group to leave, they don’t care that they are taking out of their free time. When we are finally done we get together in a big group hug!
From just four days these kids, our group of adult leaders and just doing all this work for all these grateful people have all hooked me into mission. I am completely loving it I will remember this experience for ever.
Last night was culture night, and as part of the event, three people from the Yakama Nation came to the church we’ve been staying at and presented several dances, songs, and cultural information. It was a mother, and daughter Starla (I think!) and son Cato. There were two other siblings, but they couldn’t make it, because of work or something. Anyways it was really fun and amazing to learn about the culture. The family shared with us that their father had passed away five years ago, and in one of the performances, Cato wore a headdress that had belonged to his father, but had not been worn since his father’s death. I felt honored that the family thought enough of our group to finally wear the headdress again. Also, when the family was getting ready to leave, they told us that they had wanted to make something for all (like 120) of us, but that because of working, and some other things, that they hadn’t been able to. They had went to the local craft store and bought a ton of visors for us though. And not everyone received one, but I found it very touching that the family had wished to make us gifts and that even though they didn’t have the time to do that, they found a way to give us what they could. It was really heartwarming. Starla also told us that she and her sister are trying to learn the language, because there is now only one fluent speaker left! That was saddening to learn, but inspired me to look into language preservation after I finish my schooling at Gonzaga.
Oh, Starla also shared this thing that her father said before he passed. It was that ignorance isn’t really bliss, because if it was, then more people would be happy. People chuckled at this, including me, but it really is true.
The group I am working with is really amazing. Everyone contributes in more ways than one, and I really enjoy our meetings at the end of the day, when we all share how we saw God’s grace during the day. It’s awesome how the nine of us always have more than one thing to share, too. I feel so blessed, and know I am. I also never thought that I would be able to help others in the ways that I have this week, building a bridge, stairs, and ramps. I also didn’t realize that so many people were in need of these things. It seems crazy to me that these needs are all coming from one area, too. Realizing that I can help people in this way though makes me think that there might be a lot of other ways that I can help people that I just wasn’t aware of.
I hope I continue to do mission work for the rest of my life. One of the leaders from one of the churches on this mission is 82 years old! Now that is cool. His name is Jim, and he is from Georgia. His granddaughter is here on the mission, too. Jim is one of my leaders for our small group reflections (which is different than our site groups that we work with during the day). He’s told me about all the Southern food he likes to eat.
Ivy Wood (little miss princess)
Hey it is Paul Tran and now it’s Friday night. The week has gone by so fast and it was great to see all of the work we have done, accomplished. This year in some ways was better than last year but not all. My team with Steve and Debbie has been great and we worked so well together. The program during the sessions could be better but in all again it was fun. But more importantly the people we met in Yakima were so grateful and thankful to us I was surprised this year. I’m glad that I got the chance to go and I wish to go again next year!
Good Night and Good luck,
I cannot find the words to say how much Mission has meant to me this year. Today we finished up our last few ramps and finished our work we had planned here in the Yakima community. Our group feels like a family now, so open and loving and I don’t want to leave them. I never want to leave Mission, but especially this year because it’s my last. The memories I’ve made here, from laughing at something funny to how amazing I’ve felt making a difference in the world, will never fade no matter what happens. I can’t believe that I won’t be coming back next summer, but I know that I’ve made a difference doing the work I have done in the past four years. To all those who are hesitant or not sure about going on Mission – do it. Every single one of you will be incredibly changed from this experience and it’s something you will never forget. So much so that you might end up crying your eyes out with your site group on Friday night, like my group just did.
This week I worked on the reservation at a women named Dorothy’s house. With Dorothy lives two of her sons, Kevin and David. During the week our team patched what seemed like an endless amount of holes, painted fixed two bathrooms including piping, plumbing, and all that stuff. It was a long week but I enjoyed it. During the week Dorothy stayed to herself most of the time. Today was our last day and we did a lot of last minute touches. When we were all done, Dorothy came out of her bedroom to see end result. Seeing that smile on her face was such a blessing. She was at a loss of words when she saw the bathroom with the beautiful flowers Jenn drew. I’m extremely happy I went on mission this year and will continue for my last year next summer. Can’t wait!
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