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Salkehatchie Summer Service
Huntersville Camp 2005
Meredith's Diary

For the second consecutive year Meredith is going to keep an online diary at this year's camp. Meredith and her family attend St. Andrew's Parish United Methodist Church in Charleston, SC. You can view her 2004 diary here

Saturday July 16, 2005

Oh Goodness, it feels so good to be back at good-ol-Salkehatchie! We toured all of the houses today, but this year I had a more difficult time choosing my favorite and least favorite houses. Each site has some kind of appeal, whether it be the site leaders, the home owners, or the house itself. Though there did happen to be one house that I felt was calling my name. The Hicks have had a very recent death in the family, and I felt as if God was calling me to give that family some uplifting. So I decided to put the Hicks home as my first choice.

Clowning around at the Ramsey home

Even if I am not put on this site, I know I will be where I am needed the most, and where God wants me to be. I figured that God is the reason I am here in the first place, so It's my responsibility to put all matters into His hands.

Sunday July 17, 2005

Well, I was put on the Hicks site and I am really excited. There are six youth and three leaders on the team and I love all of them! We have already gotten to know each other pretty well and I know we are going to be a very tight group by the time Friday rolls around. When we visited the home this morning we found that there are three major tasks: repairing part of the kitchen floor that has rotted, repairing the gutter (which is practically dangling from the roof), and the biggest task is fixing a big hole (that is temporarily being covered by a piece of wood and broken tile) in the bathroom floor. The thing I love most about my site is the homeowners. They are incredibly welcoming and so thankful for what we are doing for them. I'm very ready for the work to start.

"... Billy Rintz said (something that) really caught my attention. He read a verse from the Bible that said "when someone forces you to walk one mile, walk the second", and I am going to use that as my motivation for the week. I feel the more I give, the more I will get out of this Salkehatchie experience."

After we did a devotion at the sites this morning, we attended the worship service here at HUMC and then went to the lake for an opportunity to get to know each other and hang out with the friends we have already made. After we ate dinner at the lake, we had a worship service and a comissioning service where each of us recieved a necklace with a little wooden bowl hanging from it. The bowl symbolizes the time when Jesus washed his disciples feet, this being an example of how we are going to serve the families this week. All of us opened up today and are looking forward to "getting down and dirty" (as Larry would say) this week.

Monday July 18, 2005

Today we started work at the site and I conquered three of my fears: power tools, heights, and going under the house. I am so happy I am keeping an open mind so far and haven't limited myself to certain tasks. We got a lot done today at the site and I'm pretty tired already. It feels like the week is already half-way over because my site group has already gotten to know each other really well.

Tonight I don't think the words "shower" and "dinner" have ever sounded so good. After we cleaned up and ate dinner we went to a worship service where something Billy Rintz said really caught my attention. He read a verse from the Bible that said "when someone forces you to walk one mile, walk the second", and I am going to use that as my motivation for the week. I feel the more I give, the more I will get out of this Salkehatchie experience.

Digging out the post hole

Tuesday July 19, 2005

We got a lot done today, and God was definitely testing my patience. I was working in the bathroom sanding down a piece of wood that was to fit in a crack in the floor forever, and it seemed like whatever I did, that piece was not going in. I was getting frustrated because I didnt want to start over and it was very near the end of the day. Finally, Erin - a girl in my group - made three different pieces to puzzle in the crack and the job was finally done. She is my hero. About 15 minutes before we were going to take showers, we got the bathroom floor puttied and ready to lay the linoleum. I was so happy, and now im thinking it was God's way of telling me I was right to keep going on the job instead of giving up.

Putting the flooring in place

Tonight we went to "Phil's Diner" which actually ended up being a resturaunt in the 50's put on by the people at HUMC. It was so much fun! Everyone had a character and they sang different songs and did some skits. We played Bingo, had a bubble blowing contest, and one two of the site leaders were sang to. It was completely unexpected and I'm am so glad Jerry thought to do that for us.

Wednesday July 20, 2005

Today definitely had its ups and downs. The workday started off with Jophery slamming the van door shut and, no lie, the WHOLE side window shattered and fell into thousands of tiny peices. The look on Ed's, one of the site leaders, face made me think that we were going to have a very, very long day. Then, later on, Rob and I were painting the bathroom walls and we just busted out in song-thats when things started turning around. Soon enough, we had two other group members in there singing and painting with us! And after lunch, I played with Robert, a 2-year -old boy the Hicks family babysits every day, for almost an hour! I let him help me paint the posts in front of the house and I helped him water the flowers in the front yard. I had such a great time!

Then, after dinner, we went to the usual worship service where we had many serious prayer requests and found out that some of the participants have to go home tomorrow due to a death in the family - which is where the day took another turn. OK, i know you are wondering why I would bring up such bad news when y'all really want to hear about all the good and exciting things this week, so here is my reason: Instead of feeling hopeless and let down about the bad news, I feel completely comfortable and anxious. I trust that God will not let us end with a bad Salkehatchie experience - there isnt such a thing, and I am anxious to find out how He will turn things around. I know He has a plan; there are reasons for everything.

Can I ask that you pray for comfort for everyone here this week, I know we could all use some encouragement. Thanks!

Thursday July 21, 2005

Thursday is always the most exhausting day. We worked until seven trying to get as much done as possible. I worked in the bathroom most of the day with Mackenzie, a girl in my site group. We painted, and cut and layed down flooring; pretty much anything that can be very frustrating. I am really enjoying spending time with the people in my group because all of us have become so close. Today I learned that the best part of a challenge is the feeling of accomplishment.

The show stopping dance number that you need at every talent show

Tonight was the talent show. It was a lot of fun. I was in a short skit, sang with my group, and danced with Tyler Wilson (which, by the way, got a pretty good score on the dancing, but really a really low score for dancing to an NSYNC song...). I loved having everyone together just being able to relax.

Friday July 22, 2005

Wow, I never knew a simple "thank you" could make me feel SO good! The Hicks were so appreciative of everything the group has done this week. I think the Hicks are some of the strongest people I have ever met. They lost a family member, and instead of grieving, they are overjoyed that we even came to their house in the first place. It is always Friday that reminds you of the importance of helping others. Friday also reminds me of the verse, "i can do all through Christ who strengthens me", because it is so true.

"Never underestimate my Jesus
You're tellin' me that there's no hope
I'm tellin' you you're wrong.
Never underestimate my Jesus.
'Cause when the world around you crumbles
He will be strong, He will be strong."

-Relient K