By Rick Wolcott
On Saturday, August 24, an Early Response Team (ERT) from East Ohio returned from Crisfield, Maryland. This team was the third from our conference to be the hands and feet of Christ in a community that was devastated by Hurricane Sandy last October.
A few members of this latest team took a moment to share their memories of the trip.
I do these mission trips because I am blessed, not to be blessed. I’m not saying that it isn’t a blessing to help people and that the lessons I learn are not invaluable, but God has blessed me with so much, I feel I would burst if I didn’t share this abundance with someone else. Last week I had the pleasure of refurbishing the Salvation Army Building in Crisfield, Maryland; preparing it to resume its many ministries, including The Boy’s and Girl’s Club, which involves over 600 children in the community.
Every trip we go on is different, however this one was unique in that we were not directly in touch with the families we were helping. Usually devotions at the end of the work day involve sharing what each team did and the stories of the people we’d come in contact with. Because we worked together (all 18 of us) on the same job and knew very little of the people we were touching, devotions took on a personal note.
Several members shared how God blessed them with faith of epic proportions during severe personal crises. Some shared the heartache of watching the lives of those we love come to a natural end and the peace faith can give us at this time. I will reiterate what I said before, I don’t do these trips to cash in on the blessings. That said, what a privilege to ‘share a soul’ with such Christian examples. I know this will be added to the cache of many blessings God has already given me. My cup overflows!
– Micki Archer
I am having a hard time putting into words the emotions, love, belonging, pride, and spirit of this trip. I was so overwhelmed with God’s present of being a part of this awesome team.
Being a cancer survivor, I now know why, to serve God in his work. It was a tough week of work but the blessings were so bountiful with everything that was done. I left knowing God had given me new members to my family. Now the kids have somewhere to go that is safe and clean.
I pray God will feel I am worth doing this type of work again and again. Praise God for his blessings.
– Carol (Flo) Laskey
My story from this trip is one of never doubting God.
When Earl (project coordinator in Crisfield, MD) told us that he had a job for us to do and it was working in the basement of the Salvation Army building, I thought, ‘ok we can do that but what else do you need done?’
He said, “just that.”
Once assessed I knew we would be there the whole time. Still, I did not know the magnitude of this job until the second day when Earl showed me the rest of the center. It turns out that the center is the county center for the kids. The poorest county in Maryland.
Well, more than 200 kids will play indoor soccer at this center, hunting safety classes will be held in the classroom we cleaned, and kids will come for after-school programs this week. Then, a talk with Phil, the center’s director, clinched the impact that we were making.
More than 600 children will use the center and 400 of those kids live in poverty. This center is everything to these kids. Then I got thinking about how many families we were touching and helping and we would never even get to meet them.
A small group would have been overwhelmed with this job but we had just the right amount of people to tackle it and get it done. Everyone worked together building relationships with each other while getting this massive job done.
Wow, this center plays a key role to this community and it was huge that this basement be cleaned up God is good! He knew what needed to be done and he put the right people in place to get it done.
– Nora Holtsclaw