We are driving through Arkansas right now, just passed thru Little Rock (we’ll be approaching Texas by the time I finish this and find the cell service to get it posted). Most of the teens are resting as we travel along. While the miles on the road may seem to pass slowly, the Destination: Scioto County, Ohio trip has passed by quickly. When Rex first asked me to consider coming on the trip, I did not think it was a possibility because of events already on my schedule for the summer. I am incredibly thankful that God orchestrated a path for me to be able to join the team. It has been a blessing to watch every member of the team share the story of God’s work in his/her life. I have also enjoyed watching how dedicated and hard working each teen was on their REACH Workcamp crews. The projects at each worksite were difficult and sometimes dirty and the teens endured and worked hard to the best of their God given abilities to complete these projects. They helped repair and replace floors, roofs, ramps and much more.
The work crew I worked with had teens from Illinois, Pennsylvania and North Carolina working together to repair and replace the subfloor and floor in three rooms of our neighbors house, build steps for the rear exit of the home and stain the wheelchair ramp. We also trimmed tree branches to get them off the roof, cleaned the entire exterior of the house, and did some landscaping. On Thursday we discovered that the water heater was leaking and had not been functional in a while. REACH was able to get the funds to replace this too! Our neighbor, Charlene, is disabled and unable to take care of her property without help. She also has two grandchildren and a daughter living with her. It was heart breaking to see the conditions they were living in and remember how much God has blessed me with.
One night for our youth group reflections we discussed the difference between wounds, callouses, and scars (whether physical, spiritual, or emotional) in our lives. We further talked about what prevents wounds from healing, what turns wounds into callouses, and what scars represent in our lives. Scars represent healing. They show a place God has worked and mended wounds in a life. Each of the teens shared stories of wounds and scars in their lives. They were open and honest about where there are still places to let God work and heal their wounds and transform them into scars that paint the story of God’s restorative work in their life. It was a reminder for me that we all have wounds and scars and they can be used as a tool to share His story if we let Christ work and restore.
This trip has been a chance for me to step out from my behind the scenes role at the church and get involved in ministry in a different way. It was a special time for me to get to be involved in a more face to face avenue of ministry and be able to directly see the individuals who we were ministering to and the impact it had on their life.
Thank you for supporting the Destination: Scioto County, Ohio team both in prayer and in financial support. God has used your support to make this trip possible. Thanks!
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.