Building in the Bayou
This past week was spring break, and the UCCS Navigators decided to dedicate that time to a service project, down near Hammond, Louisiana. Thirty people slept on air mattresses and worked long days, exemplifying 1 Corinthians 10:31--to do everything as unto the Lord.
As the trip photographer, I got to see it all. I observed people who went above and beyond, not just physically as they rebuilt houses, but spiritually as they lifted one another up and loved on people. I saw teams working on three different projects. They praised each other, encouraged through mistakes, and adopted an attitude of love. Every person gave their best, overcame hurtles, and displayed love. Here are just some of the things I saw in them this past week.
Lindsey loved on Mamma D so earnestly and fully this week. She was also caring for and looking after everyone and anyone who wasn’t feeling well, and gave lots of wisdom to the other women on the team.
Chanelle did everyone’s laundry for us, she gave foot massages to the women who were hurting after work, and she swooped in to help whenever people weren't feeling well.
Anna was one of the hardest workers I saw during the week, and she had such a wonderful heart to talk with others about Christ and grow in that.
Asher worked so hard to put in flooring at the project site, and he was always so positive and upbeat with people all week. He makes the best puns!
Luke put in so much work in the hot sun all day, and even worked in inches of mud to help rebuild Mamma D's wheelchair ramp. And though he's an introvert, he spent time encouraging others in the evenings after working all day!
Dillon was our resident nurse this week, taking care of scraped up knees and hands. He worked so humbly with his team and worked hard to put in so much flooring.
Collin worked hard putting in flooring all week and was always so positive. Not only with his team at the work site, but also during the rest of the week when he was around others, he was always bringing people up!
Nate put in so much hard work this week, and did it all to the fullness of his ability. He put in flooring in two large rooms and led us all in worship in the evenings, and put in 100% in all of it.
Erin willingly and lovingly took on some of the nastiest jobs no one wanted to do, all with a smile and wonderful attitude of service, being so positive even when things were bad.
Elissa had a positive attitude through all the stresses, even in getting injured one evening and being exhausted at the end of work days. She was always talking about Christ and just sharing her life with others.
Nicole put so much thought and energy into getting and preparing food for everyone, cleaning up after breakfast and lunch prep, and encouraging people at each site. She was so joyful throughout this week.
Mike had literally the best attitude and wholeheartedly worked at difficult jobs, spending 3 hours weed whacking a field in the hot sun and putting in 100% in that. He was so joyful and brightened up his teammates as they worked.
Ursula kept up the positive attitude even in the frustrations, and put smiles on her teammates’ faces every single day. She opened up about her life and was so honest about how God has impacted her life.
Reilly was so brave in trying new things all week, learning, and getting to know everyone on the trip. She learned how to use a saw and did so many things without any trepidation!
Krista had such a desire to help the guys on her team with all of the challenging obstacles they had to fix, looking out for and wanting to protect her friends. And she worked so hard on all the projects she was given.
Chloe worked hard in every difficult situation at the site and took on some really challenging jobs. She asked every morning and evening how people were doing, openly and honestly listening with care.
Cy wanted to bless the homeowner so much that his attitude in the difficulties was so loving and kind. He put in so much effort to just bless the homeowner and also blessed his team so much in his conversations with them.
Josh was always working so hard and leading by example in that. He was so positive and upbeat, making his teammates smile and laugh even when they were exhausted and working on difficult things.
Justin took difficult and stressful situations and navigated through them so well. He worked tirelessly on the job site and jumped right in to do any job that needed to be done.
Trevor worked so hard to get flooring in through heat and exhaustion, even choosing to skip out on breaks in order to get the job done. He cared so much about all the people on the trip and that was shown through what he said and did all week.
Stephanie had a great attitude in learning to do so many new things, and encouraged others all week to be positive and joyful. She put so much into loving on the homeowners at her job site.
Virginia had the most positive, optimistic attitude during the dirtiest and grossest of jobs. She mopped the huge gym we were staying in and did our laundry, and always was so joyful and happy to do it.
Tucker was always looking for ways to help out and serve the whole group. He did such a great job being a leader through everything the did and said, and was always encouraging others to join in service.
Evan worked so hard at the site and led the group well, working to bless the homeowners with a house done well. His attitude towards the job was so positive and it impacted the whole team.
Ben took so much time to build relationships with his team while working on the job sites throughout the week, sharing with them and listening to them. He led the team well and was always positive.
Becca went out of her way to get us all really good food, just so that we could enjoy it or get through the day. From bringing coffee to getting ice cream sandwiches, she loved on everyone through that. And she was so uplifting to the teams as they were working.
Greg exemplified a godly leader this week in every single thing he did or said, his attitude, and his dedication. He was always open to talk with anyone who needed it and gave us all so much wisdom, he spent his time simultaneously working so hard and building relationships with all of us.
I was so blessed this past week by everyone around me who showed love in unique ways that all worked together to build each other up and serve the Lord. What a fantastic adventure.