Our last day to serve in Appalachia and it was a great day! Just a few words:
From Meg Vo: Today is the last day to finish our projects for the work camp, it went wonderfully. Our off-campus team finished the ramp and the new floor for Baxter and Marilyn, they both looked fantastic and marvelous even though they were not completely perfect. To think about the whole process that we had been through for the whole week, it is actually pretty impressive that we managed to finish the projects without any much trouble. We had a lot of fun, and while we were putting the food back in the freezer where it was supposed to be, Evan decided to make a “train” passing through the food with Caitlyn was the last person to rearrange the food in the freezer. It was fine until Coach King started joking around and made us pass the food faster. It ended up with a huge pile of food on the floor and Caitlyn was really confused. After we finished with everything, Marilyn told us to wait for her cookies that were being baked – they were exceptionally delicious. One thing that made my heart really warm and fuzzy was how Baxter and Marilyn expressed their thankfulness by writing us a thank you poem to everyone on the team. It had been a long week and to be honest, my first Spring Term with NCCS, which I was not very eager to participate in the beginning, changed my perspective about America and opened my eyes with a whole new experience that I could never forget.
From Julia Phillips: Today I sat on the floor of a room for hours doing nothing but laying tile and then glue, and then more tile, and then more glue. I was instructed to let the glue sit for about an hour before putting any tile down, which meant that I had quite a bit of down time to reflect on the day and even on the week. Coming into the week, we had a goal to renovate a space that would become a commercial kitchen. We worked really well as a team, finishing a majority of our project quicker than Red Bird anticipated. This was huge because it meant we were able to do a little more than what we originally thought. As a senior, you want all the “lasts” you experience to be a really big highlight. For me, this week was more than I really could have hoped it would be. I’ve learned a lot about myself this week. I’ve learned a lot about God’s faithfulness in every situation, and that He is always on time. I’m walking away from my last spring term, with new friendships, with a new perspective on what it means to serve others well, and with a hope for what my life after graduation looks like. And, I’m walking away with the memory of everyone sitting around a fire singing Good, Good Father, and then promptly playing duck, duck, goose, which was really great!
From Erica Milbourn: Today I was tiling in a room all day. The only reason why it took so long was because we had to wait an hour after laying the glue before we laid the tile down. As I entered the week of spring term I was filled with a lot of doubt about being the only freshman on the Appalachia team. I didn’t really know anybody going into the week and because I am a freshman I’m not necessarily considered “cool.” Fortunately, by the end of the week I have made many friendships that I hope will develop into close relationships. My experience at Red Bird has also made my faith with God much stronger than it was before because I no longer have labels on what I and others are. My favorite memory of the trip has to be all the interesting facts I learned about Aunt Nellie (aka Ms. Speck). I am very blessed to be able to on this trip and I hope I get to go again.
All in all, this team serves well! We were assigned tasks and we worked hard to meet our goals. The off-campus team built a ramp (moving the existing stairs, cutting lumber, digging holes for the posts, and screwing everything together according to plan) and repaired a kitchen floor (cutting out rotting joists and replacing with new wood, nailing down plywood, and installing vinyl flooring). The on-campus team prepped a room for a new commercial kitchen (tearing out concrete walls & cabinets, prying up old tile, repairing holes in the wall, painting, putting down new tile, putting in new ceiling tiles, and constant sweeping). But the physical work was just a part of what God did on the Appalachia Spring Term trip. The Gospel was shared, hurting people were prayed for, new friends were made, praise songs were sung, hearts were lifted, and people were loved – all to the glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I have been overwhelmed by this team. These students play hard and serve harder. So many people in other groups commented as to how amazing our kids are – so polite and respectful, friendly, hard-working, fun – just a few words that others have specifically come to me to let me know they really noticed a difference in our kids. In other words, this team “Loved Out Loud”!!! Some are tired, some are sore, and some are ready to come home, but we all gave God the glory!
~ Cassie Carr, Appalachia Team Leader