Tomorrow morning I'm leaving to go on a mission trip with my church called Appalachia Service Project. Basically, it's where we go down to Kentucky or Tenneesee for a week and work on renovating old houses from families below the poverty level. I went on this last year, too.
You always hear stories of families or groups going down to somewhere, like Louisiana, or Haiti or something and helping out. For those who haven't experience something like that, it's nothing special. They think, "Well I don't have the money or resources to do that." But there are plenty of groups that will set things up for you.
Going to help people in poverty is like no other experience. Last year, we had the nicest family. We were to replace their roof, and even though we really didn't get as much done as we could have, the family really enjoyed our company. Both the wife and the husband's birthday was that week, so we bought cakes from WalMart for them. Talking to them, you would never even think they were trapped in poverty. The last day, we didn't have the materials we needed, so we spent the whole day talking to them. They made us an amazing Southern lunch, even though we're told not to let our families make us lunch. They insisted. The experience was completely life-changing. I know one of the girls on my team was crying when we left because she was going to miss them so much.
Why am I telling you this? Because before I went on ASP, I was just like some of you are. I'd hear the stories about people helping other people, and be all fired up to help for about a minute or so, and then go back to living my privileged life. After going on ASP, I realized that helping others is beneficial for the helper, too. You learn to appreciate the things you're given more. To think that a family living in a trailer with a sink that does't work and a house that's falling apart is happy and friendly. It makes you really feel bad when you complain.
I'm really looking forward to next week. I don't know what our families will be like, but I hope they can show me a new perspective toward life.