Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mars Hill (Part 1)

As many of you know, Dave and I spent the past week in Mars Hill, NC.
We traveled to Mars Hill College where we lived with, ate with, served with, and laughed with nearly 70 other people, church goers and non-church goers alike.
Dave and I arrived in NC on Sunday evening just in time to check into our really lovely accommodations and then head down to worship with everyone else who traveled to Mars Hill for this inspiring and soul-filling mission trip.

After worship, we were promptly assigned the titles of "co-team leaders" which meant we would be in charge of organizing the tasks and projects that were required for our assigned home and family.

We learned that we would be working with a man, Mr. G, in his 100+ year old log cabin.
We were told most of the work would involve cleaning, since Mr. G has dementia and is unable to care for himself or his home very much at all. Thankfully, God has blessed him (and in turn us) with a wonderfully caring (and hilarious!) older sister, C, and very good friend and neighbor, C.

We also learned that we would be working with a diverse team of 5 people.
2 teenaged boys
1 young adult
and a married couple... with a 7 month old!
They were all incredibly hard-working, caring, and thoughtful & I'm so grateful we were a team!
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None of us knew exactly what to expect besides "dirty" but our first impression was quite overwhelming. We walked into a living room that was covered in piles of dust, dirt, and dog and mouse poop. The walls were also an ashy-brown from layers of soot that had built up over the years. (Mr. G heats his home with a wood burning furnace and likes to watch the fire.)

Then, we walked into the kitchen and were taken aback by the amount of mouse droppings, spiders, and cobwebs that covered the space. Along with the soot covered walls and misc. things.
This picture doesn't really capture the feelings we experienced, but it was so very messy and most of the stuff hadn't been touched in years. (We found prescriptions from '97 and food that was older.)

We were all so struck by the state of things that we got to cleaning up right away.
We wore gloves, masks, and long pants in fear that any of this would touch us.
We felt sad about having to cover up so much.
This is someones home. This is someones life.
Here we were tearing through it, (though being extra careful not to throw out anything - besides old food and drugs - without asking), we were repulsed. It was a mentally tiring first day.

The best part about our day, though, was that we got along great with Mr. G, his sister, and neighbor.
They were all so welcoming, kind, and funny! We were so glad to find out that they were eager to clear the space just as much as we were. (At least C & C made it clear they were... Mr. G didn't clearly come around till later in the week.)

Another highlight of our first days were the cows and dogs.
Mr. G has three beautiful sheep dogs and a dozen cows that have free range of his 140+ acre farm.
I'll leave you with this video of the cows licking our car. Yes, a real life cowlick.
video
Check back tomorrow for more about our trip!
-N

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