Monday, March 27, 2017

Spring Break: A Time to Serve Others

During the fall semester I filled out an application, got an interview, and was accepted to do a service trip through MOVE's extended service trips here at SMC. I spent the last couple of weeks leading up to spring break preparing for a service trip to McCreary County, Kentucky to help renovate the houses of people in need through the Christian Appalachian Project's Workfest. I know this sounds just as cliche as you'd expect, but this was easily the most rewarding experience of my life.
We hopped off the plane in Lexington and immediately couldn't resist taking a picture with Big Lex. Kentucky is the horse capital of the world!

I started spring break by flying with my group of eight students, one student leader (Bri Jones), and one staff leader (Deacon Michael) to Lexington, Kentucky.

From there we rented two cars and stayed overnight in a hotel. The next day we took off to Workfest's camp base where we would eat, sleep, and partake in devotion for the remainder of the week. Our trip took a little twist when the car that I was riding in, a Toyota Camry, was rear ended by an 18-wheeler on the highway. DON'T WORRY, everybody was safe without a drop of blood to be found. The car however, was totaled. Between this event, and getting lost in the very rural parts of Kentucky, we finally arrived at Workfest, only seven hours later then planned. Although we had a rough start, we all absolutely loved this trip!

The way Workfest was set up, was they split up the nine different colleges that were there into different groups. In my group, the brown group, I was the only member from Saint Michael's College. This was the group that I worked with daily to renovate the house we were working on.
Throughout the week, I met some truly amazing people, crew leaders that work and volunteer for CAP, students from other colleges that came to volunteer, and the family that we were helping. I learned how to take apart and build a porch, redo siding on a house, put together a roof, and most of all, use a hammer better than I ever thought I would in my life.

Mahatma Ghandi once said, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." At the end of the week, the volunteers at Workfest showed us this quote and it truly resonated with me. Over the past year I have been struggling with depression. Now I'm not saying that going on a service trip will help somebody control their depression, but taking a break from your own life and the things that you feel are upsetting you, to help others change their lives, might be a good place to begin.
On our last day everyone in the group signed our names and wrote little messages on the bottom of one of the steps of the porch before we nailed it in!

Again, if you have any questions or would like to keep up with my life on a more frequent basis, feel free to email me or follow me on social media!

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