Background: On Sunday, August 5, a team of young people and adults from the The First U.P. Church of Crafton Heights journeyed about three hours north to the community of Irving, NY, where we will spend the week in relationship with our friends from the Wright Memorial Presbyterian Church. This tiny congregation is located in the midst of the Seneca Nation of Indians and we are eager to not only come alongside these folks in service, but to also learn more about what the world looks like from this perspective.
Have you ever planned a large meal and set out to cook four or five different things, hoping and planning for them to all be done around the same time, but then you discovered that your oven wasn’t large enough, or the fruit wasn’t quite ripe so you had to make another trip to the market, or whatever…and the end result was that the veggies were ready at 3 and the main dish was still in the oven at 7?
Welcome to the Youth Mission Trip, Thursday edition.
Yikes. We started the day with a plan to divide and conquer – we’d finish up the railing, and then we’d hang a little drywall and even start to tape and mud it. We’d do some cleaning and be ready to face our last day with a ton of energy and time.
Some of the group went outside and worked hard to complete the deck construction. The railings, steps, and a few other support pieces were installed and finished, and wow does it look good AND functional.
Some of the group stayed inside and discovered a few things:
- rehabbing an old building is always harder and longer than starting from scratch
- there is no such thing as a 90° angle in this building
- Dave is not as good at electrical work as he might lead himself to believe
- 4 x 8 sheets of drywall are really heavy when you’re trying to hold them over your head
- You can step out of your comfort zone and live to tell the tale
- even hard jobs are way better when you are working with people who demonstrate grace and encouragement
The end result was that some of our team finished up in the early afternoon, and they were able to get in some pool time or some nap time. A few of us, however, were working until 6:30. It was wonderful to see how the young people encouraged each other, and those who stayed were gracious in their sending off of those who swam, while those who swam were encouraging, realizing that you can only fit so many people into one bathroom at one time anyway…
I was really proud of all of our kids today.
We enjoyed a delicious meal of barbequed chicken and corn on the cob (thanks Josie!) and then Tim led us in a discussion about having the power to make choices for ourselves concerning the ways that we speak toward and treat each other. It was particularly moving because he rooted that in a story of when he was on a Mission Trip and some key adults helped to shape his thinking. Our day ended with a screening of the recently released Lake of Betrayal (trailer below), a documentary about the impact of the Kinzua Dam project on the Seneca people.
Here are a few images of our day. Thanks for the prayers!