Last Monday at 5:00AM, we headed out from Unity CRC in Prinsburg, MN, and drove the 11 hours to Stevensville, Michigan, for the Solid Rock Youth Group Mission Trip.
Why our hometown? Because of the short amount of time we have been here and because most organizations need applications in at least by March, we knew that if we wanted to go on a mission trip, it would have to be done on our own. Dan’s parents ran the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph SERVE for around 20 years, so they have a LOT of experience in running a mission trip. After learning that we would be moving to Minnesota, Dan and his dad half-joked about doing a mission trip in Benton Harbor. A few short weeks later, it became a reality. We could also keep costs to a minimum (as much as we could) because we were doing it on our own.
So off to Benton Harbor we went!
The drive, as long as it was, with 13 people in a 15 passenger van, actually went pretty fast. We made only 2 stops (which is insane in my mind – the kids were troopers!) and arrived by dinnertime Monday night. We all became a little closer after a long trip like that!
This is the house before we painted it…much scraping and priming had to be done first.
Never a dull moment – Kye climbing in the cooler and the others trying to close it
For lunch our last day, we went to Larks in Benton Harbor for ribs – they just opened 9 weeks ago, the owner is a local pastor, and it was some of the best food I’ve had! If you are looking for some good ole meat, head to Larks!
Chowin’ on the ribs
The guys thought it would be fun to start burying each other – it then led into every guy being buried, including Dan (on the far right)
Painting the dormer
At night the kids created their own fun by jousting with plungers, while riding on scooters – it was hilarious!
First dives in Lake Michigan
Taking a chill in the lake
Front right, is Shirley, who owns the house. She is SUCH a sweet lady!
This was the finished product
Can’t beat those sunsets over the lake
No mission trip is complete without pranks – here a backpack was zip-tied to the basketball hoop
It was such a great trip and it was hard to see it come to an end so soon. That is always the case, isn’t it? We grew as a group, we grew as individuals, and we grew closer to God.
We had a great trip home as well. The kids wanted to drive through Chicago and since it was a Saturday morning, we decided to grant that request. Traffic was not too bad and it was a gorgeous morning to see Chicago! We all got a little antsy about 1 hour from home, which can be expected, and it sure was good to pull into that driveway and sleep in our own bed last night! I have to say that we have become accustomed to sleeping on air mattresses in our youth ministry days though!
We look forward to continue building on the bonds we created with the kids!
Where we worked, it was only around 5ish blocks from where our “son” Boston lived. We called him up and sure enough he was around, so it was SO GOOD seeing him and catching up with him! We also enjoyed introducing him to our youth group kids and they all had a good time together.