|Adam next to the backhoe that a company donated to help work on the home of a needy family.|
|That's me, in the blue blouse, working with some of the ladies on a project for the home.|
I got roped into helping out and so started the week sort of grudgingly. But by the end of the week - although exhausted - I couldn't have been happier. All the volunteers were on a spiritual high! It's been said that it's better to give than to receive, and I have to agree. The couple whose house was fixed up were different people by the end of the week after they were showered with love.
|This cross, in front of the home we worked on, was made and signed by all the volunteers. It will remain in the yard as long as the family wants to leave it there, and they can do whatever they want with it later.|
The man of the house, who had faithfully supported his family for years, is now in a wheelchair and on oxygen. I know it hurt his pride to accept help, and he felt that his long beard and tattoos would make him unacceptable to the "church people." But the camp wasn't just about fixing the house, it was about showing love. We shared our meals with them and just sat and listened sometimes. Several times over the week the couple was invited to church, but they always said, "No, thanks." But Sunday morning, they completely surprised everybody by somehow getting a ride (they don't have a working car) and showing up to church. The woman of the house cried as once again the couple was showered with love and acceptance.
Actions speak louder than words, and this week the couple has a beautiful house in which to reside. Salkehatchie volunteers painted the home, put on new shutters and doors, fixed a couple of leaks in the septic system and the kitchen sink, built porches and ramps indoors and out, widened the doors inside so a wheelchair could fit through, cleaned up the yard, and replaced underpinning.
Meanwhile, members of the community did everything from fix steak dinners for the volunteers to donate supplies, including the use of a dumpster and a backhoe.
|That's me on the right, along with a couple of the other volunteers who worked to feed the campers all week.|
|By the end of the week, Adam, who had gotten up at 3:30 a.m. every morning with me, completely crashed on a pew during the closing service for the campers.|
I met some wonderful new friends, too. It's amazing how close you can become with pure strangers when you spend a week together. I am so grateful God gave me this opportunity, and I can't wait to participate next year!