L E A R N
2019 Trip the Biggest Ever
Dates for 2020 now set: July 11-18!
108 Team Members. United.
In 2019, we had our largest group ever participate. We served nine different families — and made many new friends in the process — completing 28 distinct construction projects. More than 40 of the participants on our trip were high school or college students, and the rest included both married and single adults.
The result was a unique multi-generational team that came together to complete a remarkable amount of work in a short time.
In addition, in 2019 we added an exciting new ministry, with a concentrated effort to meet a broader range of physical needs through the collection and distribution of donated clothing and household goods.
As exciting as the 2019 trip was, we are already looking forward to 2020. If you are just learning about this trip for the first time, please keep reading.
Is this your idea of a good week?
You are invited to a week of hard work, often in hot and occasionally rainy weather. Once you are sweaty, drenched, or both, you may well have to crawl on your back underneath a home or into a place that will leave you as dirty as you ever remember being.
At some point, you will probably hit your thumb, or worse, with a hammer. Ask Brent or his father about that. If you aren't careful, you might learn that you are more allergic to Poison Ivy than you thought. Ask Kyle or Matthew about that. You might even look down while working to notice that your jeans are covered by thousands of tiny specs of some kind, only to then realize that the specs are actually moving and that you have found a nest of ticks. Ask Corinne about that.
Still, when all is said and done, you'll likely think something like this: "I'm not sure I could have spent the week doing anything more fulfilling." Corinne, after getting rid of the ticks that literally covered her jeans, actually said, "This has been an awesome day."
That sort of response may seem irrational but is the sort of thing that people say every day as part of this trip.
Significance Beyond a Typical Week Away
How do you measure the satisfaction that comes from helping new friends in significant ways? This is about caring for our neighbors — even if these neighbors live hours from us — by meeting real physical needs in a community that is in a very different place, financially, from what we see every day in Northern Virginia.
Over the years we have: re-tarred, re-shingled, and/or repaired roofs; repaired or installed drywayll; re-established running water; replaced disintegrating beams supporting floors in homes; insulated trailer homes to help keep them warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer; replaced floors and/or exterior walls; replaced broken windows; rebuilt failing bathrooms; cleaned up properties; fixed plumbing; added furnaces and hot water heaters; built new front porches and steps leading into trailers; and much more. Whatever the job, the joy of serving others is gratifying beyond words.
It is gratifying not just because we have somehow done something to make someone's life better (although we have), but also because God has wired us to find pleasure in acting like he acts — in showing our love by giving. For God so loved the world that he what? That He gave His only begotten Son.
The projects we tackle bring glory to God because when we serve, we reflect the heart of a God who is by nature a giver.
Changed Lives: There AND Here
There is a strange but consistently true reality about this trip: we go to serve, and to be a blessing to others, but end up coming home feeling like we are the ones God has changed. Every year, God seems to work (often profoundly) in the lives of those who participate. Ask people who have gone in the past and they'll absolutely affirm this.
We want to invite as many people to come with us to Kentucky as possible next summer. So not only are you invited — we hope you'll bring people with you.
Consider this Equation
There are so many needs that there is a simple equation to describe our potential impact: the more people who go, the more projects we will be able to complete, and the more lives we can touch.
Will you — whether married or single, adult or teen, with children or without — commit, at the very least, to praying about whether God might want you (and family and/or friends) to be a part of this?
The great missionary Jim Elliot once said this about considering missionary work: 'People do not need a call, they need a kick in the pants.'
Please Join Us Next July
We don't want anybody to have to start kicking.