Tuesday, April 5, 2011


At our last meeting, our trip leaders handed us a bright slip of paper that asked us to recap our experience any way we wanted to.  I'm....not so good with the creative things, so I elected to post another blog entry!  Yaaay!
Something that I forgot to mention during my first post was the documentary that Kendra has us watch, called Trouble the Water.  It was taped by a woman who stayed in her house when the levees broke, and we saw the town around her get enveloped by the water.  People lost their homes, their pets, their family members...but they didn't just sit on their roofs and cry.  They didn't despair.  They THANKED GOD.  I found that so amazing.  They were thankful for their lives, and they knew that God would bring them out of their hardship.  I was in disbelief.  I doubt that I could ever stay that positive if there was 10 feet of water in my town and I was floating along on someone's front door.  And then the next day, when we took the bus tour, it was so hard to imagine water that high...and seeing houses that were still empty, still dilapidated....a whole shopping center just abandoned...it was heartbreaking.
I've gone on service trips before, so I wouldn't say that my vision of service or volunteering has changed after the trip.  My favorite part about my church was always the opportunities I was given to go on service trips.  I only wish that someone had told me that SILD existed before now.
My boyfriend has always told me that a lot of things in life aren't worth getting mad or worked up over.  His advice got put into a whole new light on spring break.  Not one complaint was heard from the group, because not only were we totally PSYCHED to help out these people, but if you think about it--why should WE complain?  We have houses.  We have a place to live and even have the luxury to take time out of our lives to give someone else a place to live.
Complaining gets you nowhere.  Coming together with hammers and nails gets you a house.  Which would you rather do?

Monday, April 4, 2011

"Everything is build from the foundation up"

ASB 2011 was honestly the best trip of my life. When I found myself at the planning meeting I could not honestly have known that I would have gotten so close to as many people as I did on the trip. The trip brought friendship, community, accomplishment, understanding, hard work, rewards, and so much more.

When I got to Kendra's house the night before we all left everyone was bubbling over with excitement. Those who had been on the trip last year understood what we were about to embark on, and those who hadn't, myself included, barely had a taste of what was in-store for us. After a very quick 2 hours of sleep the alarms started going off and we were on our way to New Orleans. When we finally arrived in New Orleans and got to our destination, of the church, we were all exhausted but still buzzing with the excitement of being somewhere new.

The first full day we were in LA we got to sightsee, seeing the devastation that was still affecting our own country because of something that happened over 5 years ago was heartbreaking. But it was really encouraging to see new homes being built, and neighborhoods that have been recovered. I was really glad that we saw the devastation of the city before we began working because it helped me to understand the circumstances the people who we were doing Habitat for came from.

The work we did during our workdays is the reason we all got so close. We didn't have a choice but to get close. Personally I worked on the roof for 3 out of the 4 work days and it was such a sense of accomplishment to see the roof beginning to where we left it in the end. The kinds of things we did included dragging plywood across the bare structure of the roof to nail it into place, laying down a protective barrier to keep out moisture, and finally we nailed in shingles.

It's hard to pin-point exactly when during the trip we all started working as individuals and came together to accomplish one common goal, but that was a vital point of the trip. When we let ourselves break down the 'stereotypical barriers' that the school community has and started working as a group regardless of who we were interacting with is when we really made the difference. That is also what set this trip apart from any other work/mission trip that I've been on before, and what made it honestly the best trip I've been on thus far.

It's really hard to put into words exactly the feeling that we all had at the end of the trip. We all definitely knew each other better then we could have even expected at the beginning of the week. And there was a sense of excitement to get back to everyday life. But there was also a clear sense of sadness that we were all leaving something that we had worked so hard on during the prior week.

Looking back on the trip now I can't express how glad I am that I went on the trip. It definitely made an impact on my life that I will never forget. I am so glad for the work we did and I feel so rewarded by the sense of accomplishment that I have.

To everyone who went on the trip; thank you for the memories, experiences, and laughs that we share. Each one of you is incredibly driven and can accomplish amazing things in your lifetime. Stays focused on the goal and live each day to its potential. I hope that you take the lesson that you learned on the trip and apply them to your own life (no matter what they are). Thank you all, and I hope you all are successful in where ever life brings you.

- Erin :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

"Love others, as I have loved you"/ the other half of T2

     Yayyy ASB! Let me just preface by saying that this trip was absolutely amazing. I enjoyed so many things about this experience. Meeting all of you has been such a blessing to me. Every single person who went on this trip is so passionate about helping others; it never ceases to amaze me how awesome you all are. I was deeply inspired by the incredible heart of all of you. There were so many laughs on this trips...and I cannot thank you all enough for the awesome memories I have from this trip.
      "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart" Colossians 10:13 ; This quote kept me going, even through the heat exhaustion, tired arms from hammering, and lack of sleep. Serving others is so incredibly important to our society. How can you not want to give back when we in Framingham, MA, are so fortunate?! This trip definitely taught me so much about myself. It also taught me that there are so many people in our own community that need to be outreached to.
       I am not sure of what else to say, other than I love all of you. You have all taught  me so much about myself, and the passion with which you all serve others is truly inspiring. It was so awesome to see 30 unique individuals come together to serve with such conviction and love for others.

<3 Taryn aka 1/2 of T-squared =)