3 March 2019

Why do I have every opportunity open to me, when others have nothing? What have I done to deserve a life like this?
The white vans were loaded up as we said our last goodbyes to family and friends. “Have fun, and remember why you’re going,” My father said to me with his face swollen with pride.
Caravanning up a 6,684 ft summit to our new home (for the next week) would be a troublesome task. But when given the drive to help others, that climb seemed like nothing. Clintwood, Virginia was our destination. The youth of St. Charles were sent there to help those that were economically troubled with houses that seemed to be ruins.
The group I worked with and lead was charged with a simple task: building hand railings. We soon found this task needed a (bit more) thought. Digging two, foot and a half post holes down into concrete (on the hottest day recorded) was a low blow to our highly enthused group. The concept of teamwork was apparent to me, but it was drilled home that day. Hours passed and the sun did not let up, not even one cloud was visible in the sky the entire day. Taking turns every ten minutes was our solution to getting the job done. Overcoming this task took team work and faith. I had to let others help me as I needed to help the rest of my team to get the railings built.
The best week of my life was over in a heartbeat. We had successfully completed the task at hand for an elderly woman and had time to finish a few small projects that she had not yet finished. Helping this community was key for them to keep going every day. I relieved that we didn’t solve their economic troubles but we did let them know that people do care about them. Doing the little things in life can make all the difference.
I have participated in mission work and community service as I have grown in my faith. And through each experience, I have learned team work is the key to success. Not only have I been to the poorest areas of the Appalachian Mountains in Clintwood, Virginia, but also the reservations of South Dakota to help the needy.
On the long drive home, reflecting on the week and watching as the pristine Mountains passed. I understood why I was blessed with a life of opportunity. My life of opportunity was meant to be used to help less fortunate. I plan to keep helping those less fortunate then myself through more trips and other charity work as I lead and encourage my classmates to do the same.

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