Hardships

The spring break mission trip at CSF is always an amazing experience and this year was no exception. There are so many memories you take away from a trip like this that it’s difficult to describe to your friends and family. You try to describe the scale of loss that you find in a place like Joplin but your words fail to capture it. You try to recount the amazing stories of recovery you hear from victims but their impassioned words ring hollow from your mouth. You try to share the feeling of satisfaction you get from seeing the effect your being there has in the lives of these people but that is something you have to experience to understand. In the end, you feel like all the stories you share fall short. This certainly hasn’t stopped me trying, though.

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Group Times

Everyday we would go out and work with other people, but when our group was alone we were able to focus on each other. Three of us were new and these moments were great opportunities to feel more at home with CSF. Devotions, being more substantial interactions, automatically made us newbs understand everyone else and to let the rest of the group get to know what we are like.

We also cooked together. Doing simple chores would often bring opportunities of silliness, which always makes a group feel more comfortable around each other. The week was long and stressful at points. So for us to kick back, laugh, and do simple activities was very necessary for everyone’s well being.

The first night we were away we stayed at a church that Katy’s Aunt attends. We had dinner, supplied by her Aunt and Uncle, and devotions, then we went in to the gym and goofed off. It was fun to be goofy but also really important since it is such a great way of feeling comfortable around each other; especially since we had the whole week ahead of us.

[Written by Kerry Kunze]

St. Paul United Methodist Church

Hello brothers and sisters in Christ.  It’s Lance Harlan writing to you all the way from Morgantown, WV.  This year I was blessed enough to be a part of a very amazing CSF mission trip to Joplin, MO where we encountered many really amazing people and followers of Christ who live it out every day. 

During our second day in Joplin, half of our group was dry walling a house (and each other) and the other half of us went to a site to sort clothes for the Salvation Army.  During that day we met several really awesome people, but there was one person we were really blessed to connect with during our time folding and sorting clothes.  Carol Brockman was her name.  She is a resident of Joplin and a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church.  As we spent some time throughout the day hearing her story about the tornado and how she lost some close friends in the disaster, she began to ask us about what led us to Joplin. 

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Eric's House

On day two Jared, Marissa, Kerry, Matt, and I went to Dan’s house. He is a veteran that lost his house in the tornado. Before taking care of his own possessions, he made sure to check on all of his neighbors and helped them to remove their debris. His house did not seem far from being done. We learned how to drywall and mud. Sadly, we did not really get the chance to speak to Dan since he was outside running around most of the day.

Day three I was with the same crew and we were assigned to Eric’s house. We had the address and kept driving around the block wondering if we were given the wrong address. So we called Eric and asked which house was his. We had driven by it a few times and did not think it was a project since the front doors had signs saying “Keep Out” and “No Trespassing.” The house was in really bad shape. You could tell that there had not been a lot of work done to it since the tornado.

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