On April 30, 2017, the town of Van Buren, Missouri experienced a flood. The Current River crested at 37 feet (8 feet above the record set in 1904).
The water ran through town and into about 185 houses, destroying 55 of them. Many businesses were lost.
A group of us from Allison drove down on Sunday to help with repairs in two houses. We worked with World Renew (who partnered with Catholic Charities) and did as much as we could to help two homeowners this week.
|Here's most of our group with Kathy (front, in white) on the first day. Three more workers came on Wednesday night.|
We worked hard all week, putting mud on the walls and taping some spots, putting up drywall in some spots, sanding, and cleaning up messes. Some of our group did plumbing and electrical work. Whatever Billy Moses (our supervisor) told us to do, we did. He was right in there working with us all week long.
|Gary and I worked together to put in a new bathtub.|
|The girls learned to mud, too - they worked so hard and did a great job!|
|Rosemary stopped mudding for a second to humor me with a smile. She also lined up |
(and cooked) delicious meals for us all week long.
|I learned to tape corners. What do you think?|
|Gary never expected to be mudding this week - but he did lots of it!|
|Some of our group put in flooring and painted in Dale Brown's house.|
Of course, the work was only part of the trip. We also ate delicious meals, played games together, had devotions each evening and sang together, and laughed a ton.
To be honest, I was a little nervous before we left on Sunday. I didn't know if I was ready to get out of my comfort zone and leave all of the things I "should" be doing back in Allison.
I'm so glad I came. I've hardly thought about the things back at home (it will all be waiting for me tomorrow).
It was wonderful to get to know the people in our group better.
It was refreshing to spend a little time in the Bible most mornings and listen to what God had to say to me.
It was rewarding to help people who had lost almost everything.
It was fun to try new things (mudding, taping, and stilts).
|My attempt at stilt walking didn't last too long. (Three steps forward and three steps back to the ladder!)|
We found out that we didn't have to go very far to do some hard work for people who needed it. All of us are going to look around in our own communities and try to keep meeting needs once we get back home.
Sometimes you have to get away to be reminded of what's really important.
"Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples." (Psalm 96:3 NIV)
Have you ever gone on a mission trip? How can focusing on God help you to see the needs of others - both far away and close to home?