A S K
We have some answers. At least a few of them.
Click on the question below to jump to the answer, or simply scroll through answers, below.
1. What is a typical day like?
We start the day with breakfast and a brief group devotional, followed by announcements about the day. Schedules in the past have varied, but we have started at approximately 7am with breakfast and the devotional so we could get out the door and to the worksites early.
Lunch is delivered to our worksites during the middle of the day, and we typically try to end our workday by 5 or 5:30 so we can get back together for dinner together.
We do not have a ton of planned evening activities, though we do look for team-building opportunities (whether planned or unplanned). These have included water balloon fights, push-a-greased-watermelon-across-the-pool competitions, marathon games of knockout on the basketball court, bowling, multiple visits to Dairy Queen, and a variety of other team-building activities.
In 2016, we extended the trip by one day so we could: (a) get one extra 4-5 hours of work in; and (b) stop working a little early one day to go on a team-building outing together. TOP ^
2. How much does the Kentucky trip cost?
Typically from $500 to $650 per person. The exact price is to be determined. This includes gas, meals, lodging, van rental, building materials, and a fun team-building activity (such as white water rafting). TOP ^
3. Is it possible to get financial assistance for the trip?
Absolutely. We will be discussing fund-raising activities for those who sign up as we get a bit closer to the summer. TOP ^
4. Why do we go back to the same place every year?
Because we consider it a blessing to have an on-going relationship with a community we have gotten to know well. Relationships have been formed, and we look forward to seeing friends we've made in past years as we go back. There is no shortage of work to be done in the community we serve. To learn more read this article about the history of our relationship with the Williamsburg (KY) community. In case you are curious, a map is below. TOP ^
5a. What if I do not have construction skills or expertise?
Obviously not everybody who comes on this trip will have construction expertise. There are a variety of projects that will be matched to the relative skill level of the various teams, and team leaders will train team members who need training. And students, you will learn to use POWER TOOLS. Gotta love that. What you should bring is a willingness to learn and the desire to work hard. If you'd like to go but do NOT want to do construction, a limited number of spaces are available to help as part of the cooking crew. The cooking crew helps our chef prepare and deliver amazing meals all week long. TOP ^
5b. Do you need more people who DO have construction expertise?
Yes, if you have construction expertise, we need you too. Obviously the more people who go (particularly those without construction experience) the more we have need for skilled people who can help lead on the construction side. Whatever your expertise (roofing, drywall, kitchens, baths, remodeling, deck-building, plumbing, electrical, general contracting, etc), we would love for you to bring your expertise to bear on these projects. TOP ^
6. What should I bring?
The basics are a Bible, work clothes (including good work boots), clothes to wear in the evenings (shorts/t-shirts, etc), tools, and a whole bunch of other stuff. But we've put a handy list together for you, so we are glad you asked. Download the list here. TOP ^
7. How do we get there?
We rent one van per work crew, because we work in teams at a variety of different sites during the day. That way our transportation will not only get us to and from Kentucky, but to and from our worksite every day. TOP ^
8. Where do we stay?
We typically stay at a motel in Williamsburg. For the last several years we have stayed at the same place, an affordable motel that provides breakfast each day (along with our chef's superb cooking — yes, we said 'chef's') and gives us meeting room for our morning meetings. TOP ^
9. What do we eat?
Mostly pickled beets and lima beans. Well, not really. We wouldn't question God and ask why He even made those two things, but it is tempting to wonder. We actually have a trip chef, Mark, who is a tremendous blessing — as anyone who has been on the trip can attest. He uses the kitchen of a local church to cook meals we all appreciate, and we meet at the end of the day to eat dinners together (and to play together). He also creates bagged lunches that are delivered to us, on-site. In the mornings he makes omelettes. Some may wonder if a trip chef is a bit extravagent for a mission trip, but the answer is no. Mark is a servant, and takes pride in being an integral part of this trip (and in leading the kitchen crew) by feeding us great food for an almost impossible to believe (low) price-per-meal. We do the food on this trip far more inexpensively than if we tried to eat out or fend for ourselves. And good food is a great morale boost. TOP ^
10. Is it so hard—really—to get your dirty clothes into the laundry basket?
Yes. It is. It really is. This is not really trip-specific, but it IS one of the great mysteries of the universe—and it has always deserved a place in a FAQ list. TOP ^
11. I'm a parent. Can I bring my child(ren)?
Yes. Or no. Or maybe. In general, we require children to be at least a rising 9th grader or older to attend. This is often hard and sometimes less than thrilling work in occasionally very hot temperatures (think July in Kentucky). Teenaged children who do not know how to use power tools will learn to use them, and by mid-week will be using them often. They will be up on ladders and roofs on some jobs, and we want to treat these students as young adults. So we've set a minimum age requirement.
That said, if you really want to bring a child younger than this, you (a parent) must come too, and you will be responsible for providing supervision for that child. It is possible for a small number of younger kids to help on the kitchen crew. For high school-aged kids, this trip can be a phenomenal life experience for a parent and child to share. It is gratifying for the parent to see his/her child work selflessly — and very hard — to serve others. And for the child it is rewarding to learn new skills, to escape from social media for a week, and to be counted on as part of a team doing something meaningful. TOP ^
12. I'm a high school student. Can I come without my parent?
Absolutely! Most of the students who attended last year did not have a parent attend. One girl, who had attended two years, was so inspired by the trip that she brought her sister and Dad the next year. TOP ^
13. I can't go. Can I be involved in some way?
There are two very specific ways you can play a huge role in the Kentucky trip, even if you can't go. First, please pray. Pray for health and safety of all participants. Pray for safe travels. Pray for efficiency and productivity. Pray that we would be able to really serve the families at the homes where we work—and that we'd be nothing but a blessing. Pray for Christ-centered conversations, both with each other and with the people we meet as we work. Pray for wisdom for the leaders: spiritual wisdom for those leading spiritually, technical wisdom and good project management for the technical leads, and for good team dynamics on each team (and for good leadership by the team leaders).
A second specific way you can be involved is by giving financially. We know, every year, that there are people who would love to go but who cannot, for any number of reasons. We also know that there are people who would love to go but who cannot because they cannot afford it. If you are in the first category, but not the second, please consider giving financially to help others go. We know already of a number of people (students especially) who need to raise money to make their trip possible. If you are able, please pray about how you might sponsor a student or adult to go in your place. TOP ^
14. Who leads this thing?
The trip has been led, over the last several years, by a team of people who have worked together to make it go: Tim Madorma is the trip leader. He plans the trip, all non-construction logistics, and does a tremendous amount of work to make this possible. Greg Gisin is the Technical Lead and selects projects (working closely with our friends in Kentucky), coaches team leaders, plans materials and workloads, and basically oversees the trip from a construction perspective. Additionally, Donald Parker, Matthew Kennedy, Ray Gabler, Patrick Dennis, Brent Struthers, Ken Hines, Hunter McLuer, Kim Bridenbaugh, and Linda Lee and others have provided leadership in a variety of ways over the last few years. If you have questions, please contact Tim, Greg, or Patrick using the contact information below — or find them at New Life most any Sunday. TOP ^
15. Do I have to be part of New Life Christian Church to go?
No. Not at all. Two of the leaders listed in the previous question attend different churches. And this year we are actually partnering with one (and possibly two) other churches, as they will join us for the week. If you go to a different Christian church (Protestant or Catholic), you are welcome to attend. And if you do not go to church, or aren't sure what you believe about God, you are still welcome to attend. That said, you should be aware that this trip IS motivated by a desire to reflect Christ and to make him known through our work. We do believe we represent God, and also New Life Christian Church — and therefore want to represent both well. TOP ^
16. How do I sign up to go?
Complete the online commitment form on the sign up page when it goes live, and paper forms required (including a background check authorization for adults), and send in a deposit. That's all there is to it. TOP ^
17. Why is a background check required?
Because we will have a number of minors who will participate in this trip, we need to follow the same rules as we apply to adult leaders and volunteers in New Life Christian Church's youth ministry. TOP ^
18. Can God make a rock so big that He can't move it?
No. You either get this one or you don't. TOP ^
19. Is this trip primarily for teens and parents?
Have a question not answered above?
Call Brett Andrews. He especially likes calls like this between 2 and 4 in the morning. OK, not actually. Please submit it in the contact us form or email a leader, below. TOP ^