Monday, February 15, 2016
RUTH TELLS OF HER AND THOMAS MISSIONARY TRIP TO MISSOURI
We packed up our clothes and what we needed with us. Thomas' parents prayed with us and wished us good by the night before we left. We had a driver drive us down where the bus was. To our surprise, my parents were there to send us off.
Kevin and Bridget were with us, so it helped us to know what to do. They had been on missions before. We sat across from each other on the bus.
On the way, we all talked, sang, prayed and slept. Us new people were a little nervous on what we would do and what we would see when we got there. Those that had been before told us what to expect and stories of when they had been before. We had a good time.
Our bus pulled into where the Mennonites had set up there. They had taken over a building in the area. When we got off the bus, we went inside to where we checked in. They had our names where we checked in. They also gave us papers that told our schedule, what we would be doing, etc. Then we went into another room, where we met other people that come in on other buses and other areas. Not everyone was Old Order Mennonite - there were people of other religions there. Once everyone was in, we were given a welcome, lecture on our work there, what we could do, what we couldn't do and more. We had dinner there and prayers. Kevin had made arrangements with a local driver to take us to our hotel and bring us back here during out stay.
When we got to our hotel, we read through the papers they gave us and saw that both Thomas and I would be working on construction. Kevin and Bridge and Thomas and myself had separate rooms, but we met for Bible reading and prayers. Thomas and I couldn't wait to see our work the next day.
We had to be back to the Mennonite Site at 6:00 AM for breakfast, prayer and then we were off to our job sites. It is hard to describe the homes. You could see the line where the water came up too. Some houses still had peoples belongings inside - destroyed by the water. Everything they had was gone.
An interesting factor was that we could go into houses where the soil had been treated. I don't clearly understand why, but it has something to do what could have been in the water that flooded the area that could make people sick. So all the ground around the house had to be treated before anyone could work there.
When we first went into the house, we cleared anything inside the house out. Then we started tearing down walls, ceilings, etc. Some of the houses were completely gutted and then we started putting it back together again with all new. There were people that did plumbing, electric, insulation, and more. Then we started putting the walls back up again.
Our schedule was:
6:00 AM Breakfast
7:00 AM At our site and start working
We got a break in the morning of about 15 minutes or so
1:00 Back to our site and work
We got a break in the afternoon about 15 minutes
Between 5 PM and 6 PM we left our job
6:00 PM Dinner
They also gave us a talk on how our work was going. Anything special we should know. Then there was usually some entertainment. We had prayers and then about 8:00 PM we went to our hotel.
If we had slept at the Mennonite Building, the men slept on one side and the women on the other. There were eight cots per room. If husband and wife wanted to meet, it had to be in the dining room. That's why Kevin told us to get a hotel.
Back the hotel, several nights, Bridget and I had laundry to do because all our clothes were covered with dirt or mud. We did have change of clothes, but you can't leave that mud or dirt on long or it wouldn't come off.
We thought we would change jobs after the first week, but they asked everyone if they would continue on with what they were doing. Very few asked for a change - we didn't. Whatever was our job, that is what we did.
Bridget's jobs were different than mine. Her job was in the main building. The first week, she cleaned the rooms and helped cook the food. The second week, was full time in the kitchen helping with the cooking, serving, cleaning up, etc.
On our last day of construction and their house was done we met the people whose house we worked on. They were so gracious, kind, happy and thankful for what we had done. It made it all worth while and glad we could do it. While there we worked on two houses.
Also, the last day, we had a final dinner. The Mennonites thanked us so much for all we had done. We had final prayer. Also, we changed addresses with some co-workers. We had become friends during our weeks together. The next day, we were up and on the bus at 6:00 AM to head home.
The only problem Thomas and I had was we hadn't brought along enough money. We tried to decide which parents to ask to send some. I called my parents, first, but they weren't home when I called Thomas called David and Jean. They wired us some money. We will know better next time.
Although we were tired, we enjoyed what we did. We hope that we get to go on more missionary work in the future. Not only are we happy of the work we had done, but we met lots of different people, different religions and all working for one cause - to help others.
Be With God,