The South Carolina Mission Trip was always one of the highlights of my summers when I was in high school. But, as I got older and went to college and graduate school, the chances for me to attend were few and far between with work and school commitments taking priority over the trip. Last summer, with some persuading from Britt Blaylock, I was able to attend as an adult leader for the first time and have not looked back. I was so excited that I could go again this summer I signed up the first chance that I could.
This year, I worked on a house for a woman named Sarah Brown. Mrs. Brown is 92 years old and has lived in the house for a large part of her life. Her son and his family live next door in a house that one of our groups was also working on. Throughout the week, we focused our efforts on replacing parts of her ceiling that were drooping, replacing her bathroom sink, rebuilding railings on her porch steps, and other repair tasks to make her house a safer, more comfortable place for her to live in.
One of the most amazing parts of attending the trip as an adult is being able to see things from a different perspective. No longer am I the youth looking to the leader on my jobsite to tell me how to hang this piece of siding or the most effective way to paint the house, but I am the one that youth look up to for direction and help. I have very little construction experience outside of my own mission trips, but I soon realized that I learn as much from them as they do from me. I get the chance to see how they work as a team to problem solve when things do not go the way we want them to and how they bond with others they might not normally talk with on a typical night at youth group.
1 Peter 4:1 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms,” and I think that this best summarizes what the trip is about. Each person, myself included, has a chance to find and utilize their strengths throughout the week. I found my gifts of guidance and patience over these past two summers, but I have watched others find what best suits them as well. I look forward to what the next mission trip holds and I am eagerly counting the days until SCMT 2019!
—Annie Phoenix, Adult Leader, SCMT 2018