"The God of Heaven will give us success. We will start rebuilding." Nehemiah 2:20
That's our theme verse for our trip to Galveston this summer. On September 13, 2008 Hurricane Ike struck our Texas coastline with destructive force and devastating winds. We're going to Galveston for the express purpose of rebuilding people's lives by helping rebuild their homes. It's awesome thing to be useful to the Lord like that.
Maybe you've never been on a mission trip before and you're wondering what it might be like. Here's a sneak preview of what a regular day might be like.
6:30 AM - Jim Smith and Phil Parks get up. As our foremen, these guys always lead the way.
7:00 AM - Breakfast - Prepared by our masterful chefs led by Kathy Lummus. (As a side note, let me just say I've been on a number of these trips. Only since I came here have I GAINED weight while on a mission trip - a credit to Kathy's cooking!).
7:30 AM - Out to job site. Depending on where it is, how much work there is to do and how hot it's going to be, we might even get there earlier. The work this year will be rebuilding. We'll probably do a good bit of demolition (my dad always said I was better at that!) and clean up (my true specialty). Some homes will be in various states of repair as there are several groups preceding us on the island. However we find it, we'll leave it better.
12:00 Noon - Lunch - usually brought to us.
1:00 PM - 6:00 PM (or until it gets too hot to be safe!) - Work at the job site. We'll do as much as we can and leave it until the next day. Most likely, these homes we'll work on won't have people living there.
6:30 PM - Supper. Prepared majestically by our cooks. Best meal of the day. Immediately following supper, we'll share a devotional time and debrief on what happened that day (sometimes, the group gets divided into a couple of projects to multiply our efforts).
7:00 PM and following - Free time for cards, dominoes or whatever.
10:00 PM (at the latest!) - Bedtime. We'll sleep at the Family Life Center of the University Baptist Church in Galveston. We'll bring cots, air mattresses or just plain ol' bed rolls. They've got showers and such so we'll be plenty clean.
We'll do that Monday through Thursday. Friday is different - see the post from yesterday for our weekly schedule.
So there you have it - a "typical" mission trip day. I say it that way because one of the most fundamental rules in Mission Tripping is this: Be Flexible. Plans can and will change. You'll have opportunities you didn't plan for. There will be challenges you can't anticipate.