Tommy & Miss Mary's House
In college, I was blessed enough to travel on two separate mission trips in the U.S. I absolutely loved them! It was amazing to see how a bunch of college students could come together and be excited about cleaning a toilet or repairing a roof. And yet...we were. Because we were doing it in service of others.
One house we worked on was owned by a lovely elderly couple named Tommy and Miss Mary. Tommy had built the original house himself, and he admitted to us that it was difficult to realize he could no longer maintain it on his own. We were thrilled to help!
Miss Mary raised chickens, and the yard was covered with the most intricate maze of chicken coops ever seen. It was epic. One morning, she invited us inside for freshly cooked eggs. I'll never forget the smell of that home cooking as we stood on the old floorboards next to her cast-iron stove. Yum!
We spent the week re-doing the siding on the house, traipsing through mud to nail on new side boards and then paint them a bright white color. At one point, we had to fight off an angry swarm of bees, but we prevailed!
I learned so much from the experience. I learned about myself and my faith, I learned from my fellow students and from Tommy and Miss Mary's humility. If you haven't had a chance to do a trip like this where you can give back, I highly recommend it.
The people and places I encountered on my two mission trips remain in my heart to this day!