Welcome back! I must apologize for the lack of posting as I have been in a writing funk recently. Hopefully my journalism conference in Washington D.C. will aid in this hiatus. This past week has been truly a blessed one, full of friends, God, and wildly singing in chapel. My youth group and I journeyed on a week trip to Georgia to complete mission work with Team Effort for people who were in need. I made sure to write down the main events of each day so I wouldn’t forget, but how could I forget the dew-covered mountains and having to pop my ears every five minutes from the altitude? Anyways, please enjoy this snippet of my life in Blue Ridge, Georgia. (PHOTOS ARE NOT MY OWN)
Day one consisted of a twelve HOUR drive to Blue Ridge, Georgia. It was long. It was quite boring at parts. However, we bonded with our van-mates quickly, and entering Georgia we could see the change from tall buildings in Atlanta, to the ever-stretching mountains in the country. One truly beautiful part of our journey was seeing a white cross at the top of a hill as we were driving by. It felt like a sign from God welcoming us and ensuring a safe drive. We started driving at 7 A.M. and arrived at 8:30 P.M. with traffic and rest stops. We unpacked, had a quick dinner and prepared for the week ahead.
Day two was our first work day, and we began with a small prayer in the beginning from Team Effort’s Ethan, blessing this work and the old couple we were working with. They explained how they met, and after decades of seeing each other and then disappearing, finally married. The husband had suffered severe injuries from a car accident, and was unable to tend to the property as well as before. They were adorable, and Fran even brought out home-grown watermelon for lunch:) Our group began clearing a spot on their property so that we could start on a wood shed. The boys measured the spaces between each post, and the girls started digging. Over the next three days, we managed to dig the holes, arrange the posts, cement them, tend their garden, AND dig holes for another shed to be built. Time flew by fast, and everyone was so cooperative and eager to work.
The Crew with Sandy and Fran (far left).
At the end we all signed a smooth branch of wood wishing the couple well, and thanked them for letting us on their beautiful property. There’s nothing like working with a mountain view!
WEDNESDAY (DINNER WITH A VIEW)
Wednesday night was filled with the most beautiful views a Floridian could ever see: mountains with a lake! All of the churches and Team Effort staff came together to put on a barbecue, and we were allowed to jump in and swim. My favorite part about the place was how the colors changed from the red clay on the shore, to orange and yellow as it mixed with water, to a clear and bright green and blue. I made a mental note to live there someday, as I could never get used to THIS as a backyard.
When we weren’t working, sightseeing, or eating, we were chilling at Camp Jabez, our home for the week. It consisted of three cabins, a mess hall, a great big field, and a warehouse we used for Chapel. I barely stayed inside, usually sitting in the pavilion, around the fire pit, or playing cards and volleyball. Chapel was crazy, full of music, entertaining, hilarious, and where I felt God most. I always looked forward to the message they taught every night, and harmonizing during the songs.
Thursday we went into Downtown Blue Ridge (which wasn’t that big), and shopped for stickers and Comfort Colors shirts (in that order). My friend Maddie and I found some really cute stickers for our water bottles, and shirts for a long ride home.
We also went whitewater rafting in Tennessee in the Ocoee river, which was my personal favorite. The mist was pouring down on us from the mountains, which towered over our rafts. In that moment I felt so small, an ant soaking in God’s creation. It was thrilling and bone-chilling, the water feeling like ice cubes on my skin.
(Pictures are yet to come to show this amazing journey)
On Saturday, July 1st, we made the 12+ hour drive home. It was full of traffic, and it was sad seeing the Georgia mountains gradually shrink to Florida dirt piles. In the end, we were glad to be home with our families, and I was excited to blog about this journey to you guys! Thank you for reading this far, and remember… “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace” – Isaiah 9:6
Until next post! – Em
Find out more about Team Effort