Thurs., June 23, 2016
Ruth 2:12: May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.
Since last Sunday, I have been south of Knoxville, TN on a youth mission trip. About 110 youth and adults traveled from various locations and churches in Wisconsin to be the hands and feet of God. Our purpose: help those who need a little assistance.
We’ve taken on some significant projects. Divided into 9 crews, we tackled various projects: painting, roofing, building decks and working at the local Habitat for Humanity location. I’ve been a part of the Delta crew. Jeff, another adult, and I worked with 7 youth. For about 2.5 days of the four day work week, we were joined by another crew because we had multiple projects at Anna’s house. Our tasks: tear off the old roof and put a new roof on the house; tear off and put a new railing on her front porch; remove the deck going into the side door and replace this with a new and sizeable deck.
Anna wasn’t present when we arrived Monday morning. A note on the all-ready delivered wood pile indicated she would be home about 1 PM. We found tasks to do until she arrived and we were able to get juice to run our power tools. There were plenty of jobs in the meantime.
Before arriving at the job site, we had been clued in about a specific condition for Anna and her husband. They are deaf. When Anna arrived home, I took out a notebook and we communicated through writing. It’s amazing how a person can really use fewer words when communicating. (My husband tells me all the time that I can tell a story, my Sunday message and other things in about half the words I use.) Anyways, we also found creative ways to communicate. Anna has about a 10-year-old daughter. When possible, it worked quickest to communicate through her daughter. We’d share with the daughter, who would sign to her mom and the process would be reversed.
Most of us have little understanding of the daily challenges of being deaf. Imagine going through daily life not being able to hear the birds sing, enjoying a song on the radio or being able to really hear your own child’s voice. We’ve been sleeping at a church while in Knoxville. Some of the doors make a slamming noise each time they close. The noise is annoying while trying to sleep. But I’ll take a slamming door any day over not being able to hear one of our grandchildren say something to me.
Today, as we were finishing up our jobs, Anna brought out a homemade card and gave to us. Included on the inside was the verse from Ruth at the top of this blog. We never had an opportunity to share our faith journeys with each other. I don’t think it’s an accident she included the verse from Ruth. I pray the work we did to her house this week will richly bless her family.
Almighty God, thank you for the opportunity to serve Anna and her family these past several days. I pray the new roof, railing on the front porch and rear deck will allow her family to be in this home for many years. As I am reminded again how fortunate and blessed I am, thank you for the life that you have blessed me with. Amen.
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