138 Dirksen Drive, DeBary, FL US 32713
Crew 2: bauqqq
Today was our final workday and we couldn’t have ended our week on a greater note. In the morning we split off into small groups just to finish any small jobs that needed completing. Jen, Jordan and I were weeding the yard and found a snail! We named him Gary! Ronnie and Dave finished painting while Carson and Zoe did some staining. David (chairman of the board of directors) asked Jordan and I to help install a second AC unit, he calls us “Beef and Muscles.” I’m “Muscles” of course! We finished all of our jobs and we got to have an early lunch with another crew. We went to Nathan’s Hotdogs and that was the first time I’ve ever been there. Once we got back, we bonded through a game of killer Uno. I’m so happy with how much my team was able to grow through out the week and really get to know each other.
After worship and our message we had to opportunity to wash our fellow team members’ and leaders’ feet. While their feet were being washed, 2-3 of us prayed over the person in the middle and it was very intimate and close moment for all of us. My group finished earlier than some others so we decided to join in with other groups and pray with them. It’s just amazing to see how much of a family our church is becoming. This is an amazing team and I wouldn’t have chosen a different group of rowdy and crazy kids to serve with in New York.
Crew 3: Bob’s Builders
Today was another beautiful yet scorching day. Nonetheless, our final day at Dennis’s house was a great day full of hard work and playful cheer. Our workday was full of projects we needed to finish up before the end of our week in New York. Alia sanded the spackle that she had applied to the drywall. Zach, Alexis, and I dug holes for the fence posts and eventually dug trenches to connect them because the law says that the fences on this particular house couldn’t be more that 4 feet tall. Meanwhile, Mark J. cut the lattices to shape, while Eric and Mark O. nailed the lattices to the stairs. Also, Linda finished painting the stairs and rails. Then we took a break for lunch. We prayed as a group and then began to eat. As we ate, we started devotionals. We read about Mother Teresa and then talked about what it means to be truly humble.
Immediately after lunch (no, we didn’t wait 30 minutes before we jumped into the water), we all changed into our bathing suits and jumped off the bridge by our site and into the water. Eric won our cannonball contest, but even as he sits here with me, he still brings up the price that he had to pay in order to be victorious, namely a sore behind…
It was so hot out side that most of the boys didn’t change back into their shorts, but just waited for their suits to dry as they worked. It was barely ten minutes since we got out of the water that we realized our bathing suits were all but dry. We finished off our week at Dennis’s by pouring concrete, cutting fence posts to size, and cleaning the site.
The best part of the day, however, wasn’t what I expected it to be. Moreover, it was a surprise to almost all of us. We ended the day by washing the feet of our fellow crew members. The washing of feet used to be a job for the lowest of the servants until Jesus changed that by washing the feet of his disciples. This is so important because Jesus is a king and he performed a job normally completed by the lowest of the low. It shows great humility, which ties into our devotionals. The feet washing that we did was not as powerful as the biblical one, but it still brought tears to almost every eye. It was a very emotional procession as we washed the feet of each other while praying for the person getting their feet washed. Today was a great day and one to remember.
Crew 5: Crew Five So Alive!!!
So, when I used to think of a mission trip, I always thought of it as a time that a bunch of friends went out, prayed, and worked, and that was it, That there was not any hanging out, worship or anything else. This is why I am so excited and feel so privileged to be able to have come to Long Island this summer. Today was an amazing day. When we showed up to our work site on Monday, our only goal was to paint a mold-killing primer on the basement and tear out the cabinets and counters in the kitchen. Now, today, if you were to look at the kitchen, there is no drywall or floor because we are now redoing the kitchen. I pray that the next group of students is able to deliver on that and make that kitchen absolutely gorgeous. Our group grew very close, very quick. At the beginning of the week, we barely spoke and by today, we were throwing buckets of water on each other and starting water fights in the 90-degree weather. This trip has just been such a blessing towards me and really opened my eyes to the real problems in this world. Many people say that I am easy-going and this is mostly due to the fact that I try to make everyone else’s lives easier and don’t focus on me. This week, I broke down with my group; I shared my testimony for the first time ever and am extremely happy that I did. I believe that because of the fact that my whole crew shared our testimonies, we are all much closer. We gave in and became vulnerable; which in my opinion is a very important part of any relationship.
I also grew closer with some adults on this trip. My good friend Mark Jones has been an amazing help through any struggle I had. Also, Jeremy has been an amazing friend to me and the rest of the senior high. So, I would like to end this with a prayer, which usually is not how I role so here goes.
“Dear Lord, I thank you for everything that you have done in my life. I thank you for my family and friends and hope that you will protect them when I fail or can’t do it myself. I also pray for the citizens of Long Island and hope that you could just answer their prayers. I pray that Next Step Ministries can spread your word to this place and let your grace and love shine through them. I thank you for Jeremy and Lorraine for making this trip possible for me and thank you for my crew that made it worthwhile. Thank you for everything that you have done for me and all of us. In your name, Amen.”