The 2015 Crafton Heights Youth Mission started off in a big way on Monday. We arrived at Deep Roots on Sunday to a phenomenal dinner on Sunday night and got settled in the “mission house”. Regrettably, we only needed 20 of the 21 bunks that were set up for us, as a last-minute illness prevented our friend Lindsay from joining the team. We’ve already missed her smiling face and servant’s heart.
We were warmly welcomed by members of the eight or so families currently residing at Deep Roots as well as some of the volunteers in residence. We awoke early on Monday and were faced with an opportunity vastly different that that of last year: more work than we could do in a day. Whereas in 2014 we struggled with the results of an administrative mix-up that left us idle for a few hours, today we were able to divide into five teams and work at various sites throughout the compound: Karen’s team put the door hardware into place on the Education building, Tim’s group was working on the vinyl siding, Marla’s group and Dave’s group were working in the gardens, and Brad’s group was able to spend some time with a group of children that needed care.
After lunch, we tackled the big job of the day: placing a truckload and a half of mulch on the large playground area. I was thrilled to see how the team came together to plan out and execute this project. It involved measuring and cutting the plastic landscape cover and mobilizing a fleet of wheelbarrows to put the mulch into place. Those who know me well will understand how much better the experience was for me once Tim started quoting lines from Cool Hand Luke.
After dinner, Marla led us in a discussion centered on the reminder that Moses gave to the people in Deuteronomy. God’s intention was for the people of Israel, who had known enslavement, poverty, and homelessness, to offer the stranger and traveler in their midst a more sustainable reality. It was a great opportunity for the folks on this trip to reflect on the stories that they’d heard earlier in the day.