If you saw my post from a couple of weeks ago, you know that I went on a mission trip with my youth group at church to Copperhill, Tennessee. The mountains and the Okoee were beautiful and cooler temps were a nice break from the 90s we'd been having in Athens. After our sweaty busride to the campsite, we opened our week with a nighttime worship with a cool band, but I forgot their name. Seen here are Adalene, Courtney and Kelsey.
The next morning we got right to work at our worksite that was the home of a family who lived in a trailer near a ravine full of trash that had been thrown in there for over 20 years. It was gross. This family had lots of work needed around their home to make it look nicer and more functional. The youth did everything from clean off toys to building a playground for the family's 3 year old daughter.
This was our lovely cabin in the wood there at Whitewater Express Campsite.
At night--the main cabin where we ate and worshiped.
I loved being in the deep woods where the floor of the forest is packed down pine needles. It reminded me so much of my childhood, building forts in the woods. The trek from our cabin to the bath house was not that great--a walk through the woods then another walk on the dirt road another several yards--total, probably 100 yards away. Not good if you have to go during the night...
We all rode the bus back on Day 2 drenched from the rainstorm that came soon after we got going that morning. Drenched-to-your underwear kind of drenched!
A highlight of my experience was the group time we had the 3rd night with our youth, just talking about some of our experiences of working for Christ and praising Him through singing. Jonathan is so talented and provided our music with his guitar.
Patrick our youth minister leading our worship time...
Typical ways time was spent after our workshift--playing cards, throwing frisbee or football, but not on cell phones, tv, or computers! Yay! They did without those technological luxuries really well. Shown here: Hunter, Max, Mitch, Jonathan, Trip and Will.
Here are some bathing beauties at the beautiful Okoee visitor's center where they found a neat swimming hole. Shown here are Caroline (my daughter), Maggie, Bess and Morgan...
After 5 days of work and fun (paintballing, horseback riding, white water rafting, low ropes courses...), we headed back home to Athens. It was great being with these kids--they worked so hard without complaining and were really the hands and feet of God, showing this family unconditional love. I was so proud of them!
Me? Well, I made it. Bruised from having fun on the low ropes course scaling a 10 foot wall! It was tough seeing how spoiled I am to having clean floors and a bed to sleep in with about 12 feet above my head versus 24 inches. Yikes! This trip reminded me how claustrophobic I am still. That was not good. But God delivered me during a couple of panic attacks the first night--He really did. I shouldn't act surprised, but I was panicked that I didn't know if anything would work to make me not want to run out of the cabin for "more space!" But after a prayer time, I was able to lie back down and sleep without any further problems. Boy, you learn alot about yourslef on a trip like that...
This middle bed was mine. The bunks were 3 beds high, and to get in bed at night, I felt like a monkey hiking myself up and swinging myself into the bed. Kind of fun, actually. Here, you see the kids a bit worn out on the way home on the bus. God is good!
There were 22 kids and 5 of us adults. A shot of our motley crew.
A big thank you goes out to Patrick Gunn for organizing such a great mission trip through "Team Effort." It was an awesome time for everyone. It sure is great to be home though. ;) All praise to Christ for our safety, our ability to help others and our love for one another! When will I take another mission trip? Hmm. Don't ask me just yet! :)