by Taylor Burns

During Spring Break, March 13-21, 130 students from the surrounding schools: Pella, Pella Christian, Knoxville and Central Collage, ventured down in six vans to Mission, Texas, to do mission work for families who are less fortunate. Sponsored by Lake View Camp, the students built two total houses, but they also went to other work sites and fixed any problems going on at that time.
“It’s hard to describe because we go to be a blessing to the families, but we are the ones who end up being blessed,” Former Youth Paster Chaperone Jason Burns said.
And they were a blessing to the families. The group built two houses from the floors up. They painted, mudded, taped, drywalled, shingled, shoveled dirt, sided, laminated and tiled floors. They also held daily Bible schools, played with the kids and families and had worship time.
On Sunday, March 15, after a 24 hour drive down, a couple vans of students went to South Padre Island to see the ocean.
“It was amazing opportunity,” senior Rachel Freland said. “I am glad that God blessed me with the chance to go. Its an indescribable feeling.”
Freland told a couple of stories about the children who were there. She met a little girl named Jayden. Jayden, who remembered Freland from last year. They played together all day, and right before they were getting ready to leave, Jayden said, “You have to come back next year. I am going to miss you so much.”
She then gave Freland a bracelet that said “Jesus Loves Me.” With the bracelet, Jayden said, “Every time you look at it, think of me.”
Freland gave Jayden a card. On the front was a picture of Jesus, and on the other side, it had a prayer, reading, “Lord, help me to remember that nothing is going to happen to me today that you and I can’t handle together.” Jayden told Freland how much she loved her and gave her a big hug and kiss on the cheek.
The other story Freland told was about another girl named Joelle. Freland met her on the last day of work when she was sent to a house called Carmitas. Freland was part of the group busy at work on that house. Joelle had a dog house in her yard, but she wanted to play in it, so Freland, sophomores Katie Vande Wall, Jaiden Rogers and Breanna Maher, freshman Lauren Pendory and Karsin Jenkins and Central College student, Kailey Phillips, made it bigger.
On the next project that evening, the girls walked into Carmitas and realized there was no insulated ceiling, so they got to work. After starting, the only staple gun they had broke, so they had to make due with what was there.
The group needed more help. It was around 8 p.m. when more people came to help. They rushed as fast as they could. When they finally finished, Freland said, “It was the coolest thing ever. No matter how late it was, we wanted to get it done to know that they would be able to sleep there instead of in a shed. It hit my heart.”
When Chaperone David Pendory was asked to sum up the week, he came back to the phrase, “GREATER GOOD. The past week, the friendships, the memories, the future. Day in, day out, it’s another chapter in the GREATER GOOD.”