Friday, March 11, 2016

Fun Day in Memphis!

After cleaning up our cabin at Mountain TOP, we hit the road for Memphis.  We experienced Graceland - the home of Elvis Presley.  Then we did a quick walk on Beale Street before our tasty BBQ dinner at Corky's.  Then we got to St. Luke's UMC where we are staying the night before our drive back to Texas tomorrow!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Last Day of Work

Last Day

Red Team
After a tough day yesterday, some rest and a fresh outlook allowed us to get a lot of work done today! Mary Kinsey and I worked really hard to finish installing the laminate flooring. Natalie put the finishing touches on the cabinets and Aaron & Derrek put them back up. Elliott and Jeremy did everything else; cutting every piece of flooring we handed them, tapping in trim and making us all laugh the whole time. Ms. Mary was so sweet and made us a chocolate cake to share during lunch. We saw all of our  hard work really pay off today when we left this afternoon and made a trip to the local Dairy Barn for milkshakes and malts! We ended our day with an awesome hike down to the spectacular Greeter Falls. As we reached the bottom, rain started to sprinkle down, putting a perfect and sweet ending to our trip. 
Maddie Apuan

Blue Team
When we first arrived at the new house for the first time today, I initially had some preconceived notions about the person we were helping. He was in overalls, had a cigarette in his hands two large dogs in his yard; I knew I shouldn't, but in the back of my mind I was judging him. However, my better judgement told me to wait and meet him, as first judgements are irrational and based on ideas society has told us to believe in, and not what we should. Upon speaking with the man and his mother, they showed us great kindness, and the man told us about his interests, and that he is actually in a music group, and is an activist for animals, (both of his dogs were very nice and playful) and he is very self conscious about his appearance and how people perceive him. I think that it's important for us to meet people and not trust our initial judgements, and it's a shame we don't get to meet every person we see and know their story before we judge them. We helped him clean his property, moving trash, old tires, and leaves, and scrubbing the side of the house. The job wasn't too difficult when we were there to help, and the job would have seemed impossible if done alone. We helped him move in his new baby grand piano, which required the help of everyone and intense coordination. If we had not been there to do help, it would have been ruined in the rain tonight. It was a reminder of the necessity of everyone on a team, and the way God ensures that the right people are in the right place at the right time. When everything is cluttered and you feel alone, life seems impossible and it's easy to be consumed by anxiety. However, when people help, and things get organized, and everything is clear again, one gets a new outlook on life and moving forward becomes possible again.
Grayson Sumpter

White Team
We got there and started working on the railings, drilling and screwing in to create the rails. The screws were different, and they would sometimes get messed up and was a little bit of a bigger challenge for me trying to drill them in without ruining them. After we got the one side of rails done they connect the steps to the deck, then we put the rails around it. When that was done we put a rail on the steps. As we finished we hose off the deck so there wasn't any mud from out shoes on it. Afterwards on the way back we stopped by a dairy bar and got ice cream. :) 
Grace Dickey


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Day Three of Work

Day Three
Blue Team
Today we went back to Mrs. Beverly's  house to finish up a palette fence. We had to size and cut the palettes and put them up along her property line. I accidentally set off the alarm in Mrs Beverly's house trying to go the bathroom. Oops. We finished up early, so we went to go get lunch at the milkshake place again. After we finished up and got back to camp, they gave us the job of putting up a fence around a propane tank. We messed up quite a bit and had to start over more than once, but we eventually worked it out. We all had a really good time. 
Charlie Warren

Red Team
As we approached the residents of Ms. Mary I didn't know what to expect, but when I saw the current condition of the home, I knew that it would be challenging. However, with teamwork, a good attitude, and the sturdy hands that God blessed us with, we could get the job done. We started out scrubbing the walls with dish soap with Mrs. Mary's stories in the background, which worked really well. Then, after pulling the spots of carpet, we cut and laid down the brand new wood floors. As the time rose and the sun fell MK, Natalie and Maddie put the final touches on the flooring. Mrs. Mary's daughter, whose laugh filled the air for most of the afternoon, gave us all of her drawings, which melted our hearts and put a memory in my mind.
Jeremy Richards

White Team
Today was a FABULOUS day!!! We spent the day clearing brush and sticks from acres of fertile Tennessee land. (I got to drive a John Deer tractor all day, I felt like quite the outdoorsman!) We were at the Bradford residence, one of the most beautiful plots of land I have ever seen. The Bradford's are an elderly couple who uprooted their lives to come serve and partner with Mountain TOP. These two provided laughs, lessons, guidance, and showed us the true light of Christ. They also treated us with ice cream and fresh blueberries too, yum! After our day of yard "work" (is it work when it's 72 degrees and surrounded by your friends??), we checked out Mr. Mayhew's porcelain work in Beersheba. Today was filled with a lot of labor, but was balanced with spiritual ministry and lessons from elders (and ice cream!), does it get any better than that.

Cate Ghormley 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Day Two of Work

Day Two
Red Team 
Today the red team helped Marie paint the siding of her house. Some of us got to experience our first Piggly Wiggly grocery store and watched her neighbor chase their beagle on a four wheeler. Marie was a sweet sweet lady and even started to help with the painting and loved giving hugs. The college kids were taking tons of selfies with her. They also forgot to fill their water jug so they had to swallow their pride and share with the high schoolers. We finished early so we came back to camp and helped shovel mulch. It was a fun and productive day and we all loved meeting Marie.
Natalie Krusz

Blue Team 
Today was a beautiful day and we got the pleasure to work over at Mrs. Bulah's home. We painted her ramp and shed a vibrant blue. It was so beautiful and she was very pleased. Mrs. Bulah is in her nineties and she was very kind and appreciative. At lunch we went over to Mrs. Beverly's house and had a great devotional. Also we got to feed a donkey and pet it. We finished early and got to go to the Mayhews pottery place and home. We got to talk with them more and see Mr. Mayhew make more pots. We luckily got to go Dairy Bar and get shakes! Today was a wonderful day, and everyone had a special part. 
Lucy Ragsdale

White Team
Today was amazing , we got to not only build a huge deck , but we got to do it with puppies and other dogs ! At lunch after we had finished planking on the deck ,we sat down to have lunch . And they were there again stealing the food (the puppies) , this had have to be one of best days of the week.
Ryan Ruff

Monday, March 7, 2016

First Day of Work

Day One
Team Red
Today we washed a lady's house and painted her garage. She was the nicest person even going out of her way to get us a treat. The work was tiresome but easy and we got it done quickly. In the end the lady's house looked good as new.
Aaron Smith

Team Blue 
Today Bryan and Charlie started with shoveling compost, while Ally, Andrea, Grayson Lucy ,and Maggie started the fence. When Bryan and Charlie were done they chopped would while the rest worked on the fence most of the day. Towards the end Charlie Lucy Andrea worked on another fence.finally every one settled and took turns sawing pallets then we all left
Bryan Kottke 

Team White
Today my group started building a porch. At first, I was a little worried because I have never done any construction before, but I learned lots of new things that I would've probably never learned otherwise. I learned how to use a saw and how to drill. It's was lots of fun and I'm excited to see how our project turns out!
Claire English