This past year was my third and final spring break trip as a student here. I have come to hold these weeks close to heart because they are not only a time of service, but a time of getting away from the chaos that is so overwhelming. While I had grown accustomed to our yearly trips to Mexico, this year's trip to West Virginia might go down as one of my favorites.
Eleven of us were able to travel to West Virginia as we met two individuals, Cecelia and Anderson, who were in need of a new home. While we came into the construction project this time, not being able to see it from its beginning or its end, we were still there. Every morning we would drive an hour to a small community, drive up a holler and pull in to see two smiling friends and two barking dogs who were so excited to see us.
While we worked on this house, building a deck, putting up dry wall, putting in insulation, and finishing siding, we were also listening to the stories that Anderson and Cecelia had to share with us. I found myself excited every morning, even though it rarely got above freezing while we were working, to just listen to them both as they shared their lives with us. There is something that is so beautiful about listening to others as they show you pieces of their hearts over and over again through their life stories, and during this trip God showed me how present he is in all of our stories.
It is hard to explain all of the things that we experienced, but I will not forget the smiles on the faces of both Cecelia and Anderson as they worked alongside us all week. Coming together to work on someone's house, a house that has been on their property for two years as it has been built slowly, is something that is so amazing to be a part of - but being able to spend time with someone who wants to shares parts of themselves with you, is so much more amazing. This past week will not only be remembered because we, as a community, were able to work alongside each other as we helped build a house - but it will be remembered through the beauty of God's children. Those who were once strangers, but are now part of the family.