Monday, August 9, 2010

Dawn Olson's Mission Trip Report

It has been about 2 full weeks since we returned from an amazing Mission Trip to Northern Idaho.  We took seven kids, some of which could not be here today.  I want you all to know how proud I am of this group.  I was very proud of one of them before we left.  I am so proud of  them and would be proud to call any one of them my child.  You should also be proud and if you can take the time to get to know them it is definitely worth it.  I want to tell you a little about the logistics of our trip.  We traveled together to camp in our awesome van which by the way became the most popular “ride” there.  The girls and I bunked together while
David and the boys were together with an additional three boys from the Methow Valley.   We were then divided into mission groups to out  serve the people in the community.  Mostly elderly, those living in poverty and with disabilities.  We worked with this team all week and also prepared several worship times with them.  We were all separated for the most part from one another until we came back to camp each afternoon. 

As I reflected back on the week two words stick out in my mind, relationship and growth.  For me this trip was about relationships built with others, relationship with God and a lot of growth.   I know I was moved out of my comfort zone to stretch my relationships and reach out to others who may differ from me throughout the week.  It wasn’t just with those we worked for but others at the camp as well. 

I saw God in four girls who on the first night were quite anxious and spent a lot of time talking about not wanting to work with the others but stick with their own group.  But then I saw them return each day with enthusiasm for the work they had done, the friends they had made and the happiness that was felt.  Hope said it best on the second or third night with a huge giddy smile on her face as she jumped into bed, “I am just soooo Happy but I don’t know why.” I saw the four of them having a hard time saying good bye to new friends and experiences gained. God working through relationship.

I saw God in an elderly woman named Nina whom my team helped by building a porch and roof for a very dilapidated trailer home that probably should have been condemned.  When we returned the second day after only spending less than 5 minutes actually with her the day before.  She greeted us all by name, all eight of us.  We were shocked.  She was touched beyond words when one of the members of our team quietly gave her a hand cut cross.  She quietly turned and hung it on her wall.  God working through relationships.

I saw God in a man named Wade who, for the lack of any better word was a horder.  Wade had a 9000 sq. ft. house on 2½ acres.  One might ask as I did as we drove up his very long driveway, “Why does this man need our help?”  He explained quietly to two of us that he had built his house on his own for his wife and parent who died shortly after within months of each other.  He had been widowed for 15 years and had recently been remarried and wanted to clean up for his new wife.  He clearly had issues with hording.  There were in excess of 300 tires and rims on his land that we hauled and stacked for him as well as many vehicles(some classics) and a whole lot of other stuff.  His house was also full of stuff that was overflowing into his driveway which we cleared for him.  He shared with us that he had made bad choices in his the past and could not pay for his house any longer.  He told us he would have to sell something to get by this month.  Not an easy thing to do for a person in his position.  We invited Wade to hold hands and pray with us before we left.  He was clearly moved by what we had accomplished for him.  God working through relationships. 

I saw God working through these young people creating a bond among them that will not easily be broken.  I thank all of you for sharing this experience with me and thank you for the opportunity.