Sam Cooper, Rising Senior
Good evening all!
It is the end of our week here at virginia beach and we are all very tired and pleased with our experience here this week. As most of you may know i came a day late due to my arrival from mexico! I was there for a week doing construction mission work and learned many things down there. Coming here directly after that trip was a blessing and a problem at the same time. I have spent most of my week tired and sick from my travels but my gooth family has been very supportive and helpful. I also think many people here are tired of hearing the phrase “oh in mexico..” This week jay wanted us to look for the ways we see and experience the language of love. At first i had a hard time with this assignment but as the week progressed i figured it out. One day when we were working in a food bank we were separating and repacking onions. I looked down and saw my hands covered in knat bites from mexico and later on that day i could smell the onions on my hands no matter how many times i washed them. It was this day that i realized no matter where we go or what we do the mission work we do to help others will always stay with us and be a part of who we are. Another experience was at breakfast. One of my first mornings here i fixed my plate and began chowing down. I went to put my plate away and realized i hadn’t finished my banana. I knew i had to throw it away but for some reason i paused and couldnt do it and then said the phrase that apparently has been quoted some this week “i forgot its okay to throw food away in america.”
sorry for the long read:)
Peace love tacos
Sam cooper….rising senior?
Grace Cain, rising 9th
This is your buddy Grace, who has finally managed to nab Jay’s Extreme Ipad of Awesomeness! I am here and ready to report on one of the greatest weeks of my life, here with my over-fifty best friends! (i’m including adults here, who have been SO AMAZING through this whole wonderful, beautiful madness:)) But at any rate, I’m not quite sure how to even start making an attempt to describe this experience. It has just been so amazing, with great worksites, fantastic people, and of course, TELLER FOOD!!! (also, thanks to Ms. Garcia for the absolute most completely awe-inspiring Mexican food that has ever graced my taste buds!) I’m sure everything has been described in detail by all the other bloggers, so I’ll just give ya’ll a brief overview of what it has meant to me. These worksites, and really everything about the trip has helped me to understand what some of our fellow human beings have to go through every day. Also, something that was important to me personally was that at every worksite, I felt like I was really DOING something, like the work I was doing would truly make a difference in someone else’s life. With every potato, shovel load, and polish of a cloth, I was making this world just a tiny bit better. And however corny it sounds, everyone I met on this trip has showed so much love towards me and everyone. Not just on job sites, either! Personally, I can testify that everyone here looked after everyone else. If you needed something, all you had to do was ask, and people would drop everything and either give it to you or help you find it. The St. Clement folks have started to feel like family! Thanks, you guys, for diving wholeheartedly into the world of GOOTH.
So thanks, all. I know I will really miss waking up with all of you, and thinking “here I am, right where I want to be.” How many people can say that? Also thanks, as always, to the shareholders and many adults who have made this possible. So, this is Grace, signing off! (there are a ton of people waiting!) See you back-homers soon!
Madison Hines, rising 9th grader
This past week has been full of many experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life- from the work that we’ve done, to the people we’ve met, to all the laughs that we’ve shared and everything else in between. I’ve had so much fun with my fellow Gooth these past few days. I’ve gotten to know them better and we have all had such a good time serving through the ministries with each other. We’ve become so much like a family…more so than I’ve ever felt before.
A phrase has kept playing through my mind during all our work this week. That Phrase is “As we change other people’s lives, we need to remember that they’re changing our lives too”. Many of us have heard that phrase, me included, but through the work that we’ve done this week, its really hit home. When we went to every mission sight this week, there was no doubt in my mind that the people we helped affected my life too. I see their perseverance to get back on their feet and help themselves. I see how they take nothing for granted and see every good thing in their life as a blessing. I see how people are so willing to help others, despite the personal issues they may be dealing with. Above all, in every sight we went to, I saw how these people have a full faith in God and know that he’s going to bless, keep, and help them through whatever they’re going through. All of these traits they have are very inspirational for me to live my life with faith and devotion like they do. Every little experience has made an impact on my life that i will remember. I know that I’m blessed to have this opportunity to help others, and in return, I’m blessed to know that these people have changed my life for the better.
In closing, I just wanted to thank all the Gooth, adults, Shareholders, and parents that make this trip possible. I’m going to miss all of you very much- your impact on my life has been like no other, and I thank you for that. I hope that I will get the opportunity to come and help on another mission trip with y’all. Its been such a great ride and I couldn’t have been blessed with a better youth group. So thank you all for everything that you do. We’ll see y’all very soon!!
Nathan Chatham, rising 10th
It has been a long time since I have done this. I usually don’t care to do these blogs, but I decided to do one. I will keep this short since it is almost time to sleep. My name is Nathan Chatham. I’m going to be 15 years old on the 21st. I’m a rising 10th grader. I have been on 4 mission trips including this one. I’ve still learned a lot about other Gooth members and the community. The organizations are connected in a way I have never seen before. One day I was at the food bank packing potatoes into plastic bags. The next day I went to the Potter’s House here and saw the same potato packs being donated. I’m incredibly dizzy at the moment because I’ve been in the ocean too long. I’m going to go ahead and sign the blog here. We are all having a great time so far.
Kelly Norris, Graduated Senior
This is crazy. This whole trip has made me feel old. And no, I am not an adult! It’s just that this is my 7th straight mission trip with GOOTH and now I’m a graduated senior. I’ve been so tired every evening that I haven’t blogged yet, but there’s no way I will bypass blogging on my last mission trip…..well, probably not. I will be back as a college student. This has been an amazing week full of service, community and fun. I have done so many different things this week, several of which have made an impact on me. Yesterday I went to The Potter’s House here in VA beach. The work I did wasn’t as intense as some of the other jobs I did earlier in the week. But the organization and the people there just stood out to me. It’s a small two story building that provides so much. There, they serve food to the homeless, provide support groups for the homeless, help those with difficulty paying bills and rent, and even give haircuts! Usually, when I go somewhere, I can’t help but feel this boundary between me and those I’m serving. I have learned over the years that the homeless are all people with stories and lives like everyone else, but sometimes I just feel like the server. Serving is important, but so is understanding and community. And The Potter’s House really emphasized the idea of God’s love and community and fellowship with others. Most of the volunteers were good church people. They were friendly and passionate about what they were doing. Some of the homeless who are served by the agency also volunteer there. It’s a place where different people work, talk, laugh, pray, and share with one another. Seriously, the world should just be like one big Potter’s house! If everyone just helped everyone else and Jesus and food were involved we wouldn’t need anything else. So, yeah. I still learn stuff. Even after 7 mission trips. And now I want to sleep. See you all in Clemmons soon!