In July 2016, the Hicks, Schaefer, and Norris families set out for Dunbar, PA, to assist in painting the mobile homes of three families. This was a pilot "Family/Children" mission under the direction of Luke Boiarski, SCN. The team included teen and pre-teen children and grandchildren of the adult participants, who shared in the rewarding experience of helping others in need through corporal works of mercy. Everyone declared the trip a huge success! We expect more family missions like this one in the future.
This trip came to fruition because Evan and Drew wanted to participate in a mission trip. They had seen pictures of their dad, Bo, participating in a Belize house-building mission, and it inspired them to want to give back as well.
The team's efforts included improving one trailer that was in very poor condition. The owner was physically unable to do the work himself, nor did he have the funds for supplies. The small, added front room required extensive work to improve stability and increase homeowner pride.
It was decided that the team would purchase T-111 panels and wood trim to completely cover it and then paint it to match the color of the main house and trim. The Lord was right by the team's side on this trip! At the local lumber store, they were out of stock of the first two options selected. But after the team expressed their disappointment, the store provided a generous discount on the materials that were available!
In addition to the home-building, there was bonding between the volunteers and the recipient families in several ways. Cell reception was not very good, so electronics were not an option for entertainment. The kids' only option was to interact with each other, playing board games indoors and soccer outdoors in the evenings.
The kids also bonded with the recipient families. One family shared by showing the livestock they owned. Another family shared what little they had and provided lunch for all of the volunteers. One of the other recipients showed the volunteers one of his prized possessions, a Korean War rifle. It was another way to give back to the volunteers.
The kids worked extra hard every day and were exhausted by evening time, but they never complained.
Evan and Drew had some extra money left over from the GoFundMe page they had set up to raise money for the trip. They put that extra money to good use by purchasing three WalMart gift cards to give to the families on behalf of all the volunteers.
The team also learned about the history of Dunbar, PA. One evening, the team enjoyed a family-style dinner with one of the city officials. In addition to that, they enjoyed a tour of the town historic society. It was humbling for all to see firsthand the poverty that exists in parts of our own country.
St. John's/SCN Mission Partnership: Overview - Read this post first!