Student Blog: Mission Trip in Mississippi
Mission Trip Recap
by Terri Hill '09
Wow! That is one of the first things that comes to mind when I reflect on this trip. Our Internet [at the host church] has been down for a while, since day one to be exact so now that it is up, let me give you a day-by-day play-by-play.
Arriving in Pascagoula was exciting to say the least. We were so tired of riding and napping, arriving anywhere was a good thing. After unloading from the bus and praying, we settled in for something to eat and a few games. From day one, people began to get to know one another and the friendships began to grow and flourish. All of the girls stayed in an upstairs room together. Speaking from no previous roommate experience, I was less than excited. I had never had a roommate so this would be different for me. I am the oldest of nine girls here on the Catawba Mission Trip and being part of a "dorm-style" setting was new for me. I found out very quickly what it was like to be a part of the "college" clique. We were assigned teams with whom we would cook in the morning and then do reflections later that night before free time. Reflections is a time where we sit and do a directed activity to go over everything we did that day and tell about the things we learned.
Sunday morning wake up was apparently something none of us was ready for. Dr Sabo came in yelling, "Up and at 'em!" which we grew to understand would happen regularly while we were here. Breakfast was my group's task the first morning. Together we made waffles and sausage. We went to church together and then came back for a nap. We hadn't even done work yet and we all needed a nap — looks like bad news. After a nap and then lunch, we headed off to work. The house was in shambles, disorganized and no where near finishing. We piled out of the bus, prayed and set out to work.
Some of us were outside and some were inside. There was so much work to do that no one seemed to know where to start. We began by taking orders from Mr. Bob and Mr. Mike. They showed us how to "mud" and cut drywall, run power tools, and make measurements and cuts because some of the people on the trip had never done this sort of thing before. After a few hours of work, we headed home for showers and supper. At reflections that night, we played a game to get to know one another better. Everyone laughed and had a good time.
Monday and Tuesday were all work and nearly no play. Although we had a lot of fun working together and laughing, we accomplished a lot. The house was all a buzz from the activity. It came alive with the sounds of the drills and saws and the laugher and chatter among the workers. When we left the house at the end of the day, we were all exhausted and ready to reflect and go to bed. One of the days we headed to a Po Boys to eat lunch and although it was incredibly greasy, it was good eatin'.
Wednesday was break day. We headed out to New Orleans. We began with a stroll through the Riverwalk Mall and a walk through of the places we were allowed to travel. After the tour, we headed for The Court of Two Sisters to have the most amazing brunch in the courtyard. After having a wonderful time talking with one another and laughing, we headed out in groups to explore the city. For the most part , we all stuck together because we had become that close as friends. We walked up and down Bourbon Street and visited the French Quarter. We took pictures of everything we saw and the silly people we met. We visited shops and the market and got aquainted with this really unique city. After exploring, we headed out to Cafe du Monde to meet up with everyone else. Here we ate some amazing pastry and listened to a street band. I got up ad danced with them. I had a ball in New Orleans. Everyone had an amazing time, but I believe that we were all tired and ready to rest when it was over.
Today was the last workday and the accomplishments that we made on the house were outstanding. Today the house was painted inside with primer and outside with the first coat; a feat that no one thought this group would accomplish in a week. The owner said that the renovations began in March and that we accomplished more in four days than had been done the entire time. We pulled together and as a team gave this family the beginnings of a house.
When I began this journey, I was a 27-year-old senior headed to a place with people I hardly knew. By the end of this amazing adventure, I realized that at some point the sixteen people who were strangers then were now some of my very best friends.
PHOTOS: Mission Trip to Pascagoula, MS