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Peace Church - Lombard

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God Sightings in Serving - Youth Workcamp Mission

This year, I attended the Workcamp Mission Trip to Charleston, WV with my high school youth group.  I was really nervous to go mainly because this was my first one.  As soon as we got to the middle school where we would be staying on Sunday, I was met with nice people and a happy environment.  That night, we met people from all over the country - Illinois, Virginia, Ohio, and Georgia, just to name a few.  Everyone was super nice and I instantly knew that I made the right decision to come.  We met with our crew Sunday night and were told about our job assignment.  We were to help a resident whose house had been severely damaged by the floods the previous year.  I went to bed thinking about what the next day was going to bring.

In the morning, I met with my crew and we all piled up into a van with another crew.  After we dropped the other crew off at their site, we went to ours.  When we arrived, I looked at the house and tried to assess what we were going to have to do.  The paint on the deck, railings and foundations was peeling and worn.  In some spots, there was dirt all over the outside.  It was mud left over from the floods.  We met the family.  The mom, "Mollie", greeted us and she had three kids - two boys and one girl who was a little over one year old.  We introduced ourselves as the people who where there to work on her house.  

The first day we were at their house, we painted some trim and doors inside.  Mollie even decided to join us for devotions after lunch.  Mollie shared with us that her daughter, "Ella", had a lot of complications at birth and they were not sure if she would survive.  When the flood happened, their daughter wasn't allowed to live in the house for nine months because of health issues.  She and her mom had to live in a camper in the backyard.  

Throughout the week, we took time to look for God sightings.  When we power washed the house on Tuesday, we saw that the kids were watching us through the window.  Ever since then, we would notice the kids watching us work through the window, especially little Ella.  On Wednesday, when we were about to start devotions after lunch, we looked up.  Through the window, we saw Ella looking out on us.  Right away, we all knew this was a God sighting!  This little girl, Ella, who was a living miracle, was watching over us as we were about to start talking to God.

On Friday, I wasn't ready to leave.  I had grown so close to this family in the short time that we had with them. Right before we said our goodbyes, we gave each of the kids a rock with a cross on it. We wanted them to remember that we were there and that their faith in Christ should remain strong.  Holding back tears, we took pictures, said our goodbyes, and drove away slowly watching Mollie, her boys, and even little Ella wave goodbye to us. 

Looking back on this experience, I am so glad that I decided to go to Workcamp.  I made great friends, amazing connections with the residents and family.  These memories will last a lifetime.  Most importantly, I strengthened my relationship with God a lot.  I think this trip gave me people that will walk with me on the road with God.  I am definitely going on the Workcamp trip next year.  I would hope that other high school youth will come, too!  Sure, the showers weren't warm.  Sure, I cam back with sixteen bug bites, but I wouldn't trade this experience for the world. I will never forget this experience and I am so grateful that God chose to shine through me on this trip.  I can't wait to see what the future holds for me as I keep walking on the road with God.

Submitted by Megan Garazin, member of Peace Lutheran-Lombard

Peace HS Youth Workcamp 2017

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