Village Voice - August, 2006
Summer Mission Trip 2006
Dan and I survived the Extreme Build project with just a few bruises, sunburn and sore muscles. It was an awesome experience. It is so refreshing to me to visit the Bible belt of this country. There are so many devout Christians there and they are not afraid to show it. When we were on the road I saw two churches with signs that said “Visitors Welcome – Members Expected.”
The Extreme Build project was a
year in the planning stages. It was a
partnership between McCHDO and KBF.
McCHDO is the McCreary County Housing Development Organization
dedicated to providing quality, energy efficient housing to
families. KBF stands for Kentucky
Baptist Fellowship. The family this
house was built for was a grandmother and her three grandchildren she
We worked really hard. We got up at 5:30 a.m. every morning. Breakfast was served beginning at 6:00 a.m. at a community center which was part of the Christian Appalachian Project. Christian Appalachian Project provided the transportation to the worksite every day. The workers consisted of about 12 teams. A team had a crew leader and 4 or 5 team members. There were at least 4 teams led by women. My team leader was a woman named Michele. Michele was a House Leader who gained experience through her work with Habitat for Humanity. She was a part of Habitat called “Women for Habitat”. These women build houses entirely with women volunteer teams. Dan’s team leader was a man named Elmo who was the nicest person you would want to meet. The first day we worked from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. I worked on building walls that day. I learned how to use a miter saw and a circular saw. Michele showed me how to mark the wood to construct the walls by reading the plans for the house. I learned that hammering nails is a lot harder than it looks. Dan worked on building the walls in the basement that day.
The second day we worked on completing the
exterior walls of
the house. Using a hammer stapler, I
learned how to attach a special paper on the window sills that protect
from water. I also helped attach the
ribbon portion of the house. When Elmo
saw Dan’s truck one evening at the campground he said, “Do you know
call those trucks in
Every day there was a “goof ball award” given to the person doing the silliest thing. The first goof ball award was given to a woman who was so excited about working that she drove her car to the worksite. You weren’t supposed to drive to the worksite because there wasn’t enough space to park, and then she rode the shuttle bus back and forgot about her car. The second day the award went to a man (who was a Pastor) who said he had to go to Wal-Mart to buy some more underwear because he thought two pair would be enough for the week. The third day some women must have done something silly to have some drywall fall on them (no one was hurt). The last day’s award went to a man who was demonstrating to the women how the drywall screws are supposed to be sunk into the drywall. If the screws are still sticking out you need to tap them in with a hammer. He proceeded to demonstrate by taking a hammer and making a hole in the wall. We insisted that he put his initials by the hole so everyone would know it was him that ruined our beautiful wall.
On the last day we only worked about half a day. We didn’t get the house entirely finished in
the interior but we did get an amazing amount of work accomplished in a
short time. It was frustrating sometimes
when we didn’t have enough tools and when there were so many people
couldn’t move. The house was dedicated
on Friday. The family was presented with
a bible signed by everyone who worked on the house.
A good portion of the volunteers were from
about six different Baptist churches in
You can’t help but be blessed by participating in
trip. I was especially empowered by this
experience, because I stepped outside of my comfort zone and learned
that I can
do things I never thought were possible.
That shouldn’t surprise me since with God, all things are
possible. The family across the street
from the build
site consisted of a man and his wife, a little girl and a baby. Their house had no front door or window. Their running water came from a garden
hose. This experience has inspired me to
work with Habitat for Humanity. I now
know how to use power tools and have some basic knowledge of
construction. I encourage everyone to
taking a mission trip when the opportunity arises.
Even though you may think you don’t have
anything to offer, there is always something for everyone to do. There was a group of women who spent two and
half days staining the doors and trim.
We needed people to sweep and clean up the worksite. I met a woman named
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