Salkehatchie Summer Service
Huntersville Camp 2005
Melissa Kelly will be attending our camp this summer. This will be her second camp with us. Melissa is a member of Lafayette United Methodist Church in Shelby, NC. She's agreed to keep a daily diary online during our 2005 Camp. Melissa has previously written for this website. She wrote about her experience at last year's camp and we published it here.
Saturday July 16, 2005
Our first day of the 2005 camp was filled with much excitement and expectation. If many of the campers were like me, then the past few weeks included having a countdown of the days remaining until the start of the camp. It also involved having to dig out those old clothes from the previous year. As I sat at home packing a few nights ago I found myself pulling out those old clothes and reminiscing over last year. It seemed like every paint drop or mud stain told a story of a fun time spent with such generous people. Ones so eager to show God's love to others that would give a week out of their summer to sacrifice their sweat and pain for people they didn't even know. So finally the day we'd all been waiting for came today. When we packed up our bus and started the drive down to Huntersville. The whole way those who attended the camp last year were excited about seeing old friends and rekindling those friendships while the new people were anxious about starting a new experience.
Attending the service at HUMC
When we arrived here we unpacked and hung out waiting on everyone to get here. After that we went on the first day tour of the sites. I have to admit as I stood their looking at all the work that was to be done I was nervous, that this year's camp may be tougher. However, thinking more about it made me realize that we, the campers and site leaders, are not alone in this. That we have God's help, and that everything will work out fine. Just like in the scripture verse that states, "I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me!"
Along with the night program came the usual crazy get to know everyone and bond together games. We passed Jerry down a row as we all linked arms making a strong bond. We also crawled under the church pews something I have to say I have never got the chance to do. After an evening of worship and praise we all departed going off to meet new friends and socialize.
I guess I would have to say that my prayer not only for this week but for all Christians as a whole is that just like in the game where we linked arms passing someone down the row, that as a Christian family we can form a strong bond out in this world.
Sunday July 17, 2005
"Tonight was an emotional night when everyone expressed their prayer requests and concerns. We have all realized that even though we are going through some tough times as a community of God's when one person hurts we all hurt. And when one person rejoices then all will. Together with God's help anything is possible."
Upon waking up Sunday everyone is ready to see which site you were assigned to. I feel blessed to be assigned to the Staton home. After breakfast everyone kind of breaks off into their site teams and goes to meet and talk with their home owner.
Mrs. Staton was a very sweet lady and was very appreciative for all of us. Afterwards, we came back to HUMC and attended their worship service. Sunday is also jam-packed because we take a trip for most of the afternoon to the lake to socialize and have fun before the work begins. We all got a chance to get to know people better and have MacKenzie tell us all some hilarious jokes! After that we all settle down for a meal and then we were blessed to have the Bishop for the Western NC Conference come by and talk to us a little about his Salkehatchie experiences. Following that is the "commissioning" ceremony. It is a touching part of the week.
After coming back to HUMC for the night we hung out some more and have to get ready for a tiresome week ahead of us.
Please continue to pray for all of the campers and adult site leaders as we go out to share God's amazing love with others.
Monday July 18, 2005
Applying the primer
Well today was our first day of work! WOOOHOOO! The destruction started before 8 at our site. Wendy & I began tearing out the kitchen cabinets and the sink / counter thing. By 10 Mrs. Staton's whole kitchen looked like a tornado had just struck including a hole in the floor. After a long and productive morning of work we all headed off to meet up with the other sites at lunch.
At lunch I got a chance to talk with some friends from my church, Erin & MacKenzie that are on the Hicks site. They told stories of how their house was having the same progress. MacKenzie shared how she conquered a fear of heights to get on the roof. Afterwards we headed back for another day of working in the horrible heat. Tonight we finished out the evening with a worship service and a important sermon by Billy Rintz.
Please continue to pray for all the teams as we work our way into the hard part of the week, after all the destruction is over the part of rebuilding has just begun.
Tuesday July 19, 2005
The second day of work is always when everyone looks around and starts the "Oh my Gosh how could we ever get all this done."
Today I worked on the porch in back for most of the morning. Afterwards we went to lunch to have another great and filling meal donated by generous people. Going back this afternoon I didn't get a chance to work much because I had to go to Lowe's. However, I did get the great pleasure (sarcasm) of ripping out a toilet. Tonight the Huntersville United Methodist Church members put on a show. We enjoyed dinner and a 60's show.
As we work more into the intense part of the week please continue to pray for not only us but also all the volunteers and all the people involved behind the scenes.
Wednesday July 20, 2005
Cutting the next piece for the deck with the help of Hunter Wagstaff
Well this is the middle of the week, the typical day where everything is torn out and you start wondering if it ever is going to be fixed. Today starting this morning Wendy & I worked on priming the kitchen so it would be ready to paint by this afternoon. I spent the rest of the day working outside on ladders and as "ground support" for Robert & Douglas. We worked so hard and at the beginning of the project it seemed like nothing would work right for us. We couldn't get the screws to go in without stripping them. Then the board would fall and things just didn't seem to work. Finally I just was about to give up and it was like God sent us a sign and we finally got the board screwed in.
On the down side I did get sunburned pretty badly outside in the heat of the day. Although I did get sunburned and things didn't seem to work as well as I planned it still was good. Tonight was an emotional night when everyone expressed their prayer requests and concerns. We have all realized that even though we are going through some tough times as a community of God's when one person hurts we all hurt. And when one person rejoices then all will. Together with God's help anything is possible.
Thursday July 21, 2005
Today was another day of hard work. We started out the day with the usual devotion. Then Wendy & I started painting in the kitchen. Which wasn't that easy of a task seeing how it was paneling that we had to paint over.
Then we started laying down the tile in the kitchen. It was sometimes difficult having to cut all the uneven pieces. But however when Wendy and I were at our "breaking point" we finally seemed to get one to fit well.
While we were hard at work Katie & Rob Dob started in the bathroom. After a quick break at lunch, we finished the day which was a long 12 hour day.
We decided to take a break for the evening and just hang out and have a talent show. There was various acts such as the "L-O-V-E" song then a hilarious skit.
I am excited to see the finishing results tomorrow. Until then God bless.
Friday July 22, 2005
They worked hard in this kitchen
Well the last working day is finished as I think back upon the week I can't help but think how much we have all accomplished this week. Going into this week you have all these expectations and requirements you think that will happen. However, sometimes things don't happen quite like I thought.
This being my second complete year of Salkehatchie nothing is ever how it seems. There is stuff that you don't expect to happen but it does. Like how everyone believes we come here to help others but now sitting here I believe that this week helped me more.
I have met some awesome people over this past week. Not just the kind of "camp" friendships. Ones I will know that will last longer.
Some things I have learned this week is that while doing anything whether it be something seeming so intimidating as building a house or just facing a sometimes unchristian like world, we have to know and have faith that God will help us through it.
This reminds me of a saying, if God will lead you to it then he will help you through it. Closing up the week and seeing the miracles is great but the miracles you can not see make a longer lasting impression.
I want to thank everyone for this week. Thanks so much for everyone helping here and watching at home. And until next year God bless!