Friday, July 18, 2014

God's Strength and Wisdom

Last month my youth group went on a mission trip.  Normally we go somewhere out of state like the Carolinas, Texas, Michigan, etc.  This year we stayed in our own state AND our own backyard.  We went to mass Sunday morning and our priest gave us a blessing then we drove 15 minutes to the grade school that we would call home for the week.  It was great!  We were “away” from home, yet still in our hometown!

This year was physically more demanding than my past mission trips.  Most sites only have one crew of 6 people working on their project.  This year I was on a double crew with 12 people and the last two days they sent in a third crew yet, even with 19 people working on our house (including our resident), we were not able to finish in time.  But I will come back to that.

Here is the before picture.  And note that this is only a small portion of the house, it is much bigger than it looks.
First let me explain what we were doing.  This house was huge!  It had wood siding which had been painted, but it was not meant to be painted and they didn't use the correct type of the wood had rotted and all the paint was chipping off.  Our job was to scrape the paint off, caulk what needed caulked (which was all the edging and a bunch of holes in the wood), prime the whole house and garage, and put two layers of paint on the house and garage.  We spent all of days 1 & 2 scraping and Taylor and our resident, Greg, caulked.  Day 3: I continued to scrape while the others caulked and primed.

Day 3:  We had somehow missed a whole section of the house that needed scraping and I picked the short straw.  By the end of day 1 we were all tired of scraping, by the end of day 2 we all hated scraping, on day 3 when I ended up with a scraper in my hand again I passionately hated scraping.  And it didn't help that I was the only one still scraping.  I was sore, sunburnt, grouchy, and complaining to myself.  At one point I climbed off my little step stool to take a little break and I literally thought “God, I can't do this anymore.  I'm too tired and sore.  I don't have the strength.”  But I knew I still had to do it because no one else was going I got back on my step stool thinking “Lord, give me the strength” and He did.  The minute I got back on my step it was as if I had been regenerated.  I wasn't sore or as tired as I had been and I was able to finish the strip that I had been working on.  It was incredible and I know that it was only by the grace of God.  I asked Him to give me strength and He did!

Day 4: I finished scraping then we all primed and caulked and some started on the paint.  Day 5: we finished priming and caulking, we painted one full layer of paint on the house and scraped, primed, and tried to paint the garage...but mother nature decided to wash the paint off the garage…

Here is one portion of the house getting the finishing touches
Here is the front after it was finished
...and here is the garage after it rained...
 It was disappointing to watch the rain wash our fresh paint off the garage. We had gone as fast as we could, prayed as hard as we could, tried our best to finish the garage too, but in the end it rained and washed the paint away…  At first I was upset, of course I wanted to finish, but then again, I'm sure God had his reasoning.  They had already figured that we wouldn't finish (which, for the record, we got farther than expected) and there was a team ready to go in to finish for us.  Maybe our house wasn't finished because God was going to use someone who was going in afterward.  It’s sad we didn't finish, but I hope that God was able to move in someone’s heart because of it.

Always look at the bright side, even when it doesn't seem like there is a bright side to something.

God bless!

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