This morning, I attended a session of Dimensions, a program where you are required to go for four semesters, and it is usually kind of boring. But today’s program was something different. Students talked about their experiences on one of the Gardner Webb mission trips. That reminded me of my Fall Break Mission Trip to Charleston, SC. I went in Fall of 2015 and it was one of the best parts of my college experience so far. Throughout the trip, the group kept a close bond with each other, which helped add meaning to the volunteering that we were going to do. In all there were two guys, nine girls, and one male chaperone. We volunteered with an organization called Metanoia.
On the very first day, we helped paint a couple of rooms, which is for the youth. At first, I had to clean the stairs with a magic eraser. Even though that was not that enjoyable, I still know I was making a difference. I eventually was able to help paint the rooms and that was more enjoyable. They wanted skilled painters to paint the foundation to paint over the pre-existing wall color and the boys had much better skills when it comes to a painting task like that. To leave our mark, we painted an attic-like door, which was taken down to paint. We painted our hands and placed them on that door. That means our mark will always be at the community center that we helped paint.
The very next project we did was some yard work. It was a lot of clearing away and a lot of vines to cut away. That took a lot of work, but was so worth it. Some of it was easy to pull out without the help of a vine cutter or anything like that. Many of those were vines with sharpness on them. That took an entire afternoon to clear away not one, but two yards.
I think what had the biggest impact was on Sunday. We visited the church where that Charleston shooting took place. That made me quite nervous because something tragic happened and was kind of fearful of visiting a place like that. However, I learned to love it especially the members. Despite all of the tragedy they faced, they were still strong and kept their incredible faith in God. It seems that each time tragedy strikes, there always seems to be a glimmer of hope. That stays true to scripture in a way because scripture says “those who have walked in darkness have seen a great light”.
We spent the rest of the trip spending time together and getting to know each other better. We explored Charleston together and were split up. Later that same day, we visited the beach and got dinner at a place nearby.