To The Appalachia Mission Trip
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To The Appalachia Mission Trip

Philippians 4:13 "I can do all this through him who gives me strength"

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To The Appalachia Mission Trip
Erin Lanahan

Sawdust, mud, and the hot summer sun. You would think these things wouldn't combine to make an awesome week, but you would be wrong.

Going on my church's mission trip to Paintsville, Kentucky was something I originally wasn't too excited for. It was advertised as a week doing hard physical labor for working families in the middle of nowhere. There was also a religious element of the trip, which was dedicating the service work for God. I didn't like the idea of spending my first week of summer far from my friends, but my parents signed me up which meant I was going. Little did I know, this trip would quickly become one of my favorite trips ever.

The work they give us teens to do seemed too much. Some groups had to side houses, some built rooms, and some dug trenches. No matter how tough the work seemed day one, every kid in the group would be giving their all the entire week to try and get as close to the goal as possible. The best part was how the work brought the kids together. As cliche as it sounds, being forced to work as a team helped me form a strong bond with the kids in my group.

The families we met down there were also a huge part of the trip. Working on their houses meant getting to know the parents and children quick, and they were always so kind and inviting to our groups. Some would offer drinks and food for us after a hot, long day of work, and it would be so fun getting to know them during our (many) water breaks. It would be hard to leave them at the end of the week, but the memories would stay with us forever.

What could be considered the most important part of the week is how we are doing "God's work." We started every morning saying prayers for the day ahead, for the families whose homes we worked on, and for anything else we had on our minds that day. We would dedicate our work to God, and would set an example for those who would be working next week. It helped me learn a lot about myself, too. Not only did I learn how to use a nail gun, it helped me see the importance of my faith. I watched how it brought all these different people together. It showed me how people from all over can unite under a similar faith, all believing in the same God. It makes me happy to think about, and I hope the people going on the trip this year get to witness that too.

I miss this trip more than I thought I would. I miss the long hot days, the inside jokes with the work groups, and, of course, the trips to Dairy Queen. I wish everyone the best of luck on their work sites this year, and I can't wait to see pictures when the week is done!

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