Weekly Reflection, Sunday, September 1, 2019
By: Madeleine Dunaway, rising 7th grader who participated in the Middle School Mission Trip
“But be doers of the word, not merely hearers who deceive themselves.” – James 1:22
Throughout the whole Shenandoah Valley Mission Trip, the theme of our service was clear. Community. Dignity. Respect. We treated others with dignity and respect, and we served the community around us. The first night, we began journaling and I started to realize how this theme didn’t just relate to the service we were performing and the community we were serving. It applied to the community and friendships that were forming within our service team too. Through working and living together for couple of days, we were already close friends. Though this was an important part of the meaning of these words, and the mission trip altogether, we learned more about these words through our service.
During our first day of service, we painted a mural on the entrance wall of a hardware store that was owned by Habitat for Humanity. All the things sold by the store were discounted and all the proceeds went to building affordable homes for the homeless. One of the things that day that really stuck with me was how friendly and supportive the people who passed by were. You could easily tell that they really cared about the store and loved the idea of the mural. The community within the store was striking. Everyone knew each other and greeted each other. Even members of our group, who no one had met before, experienced a piece of that community.
In the Bible verse that I started with, it says, “But be doers of the word, not merely hearers who deceive themselves.” I think this verse really ties back to our theme of the mission trip. The way I take it, it means, serve in God’s name. I believe that when you are gathered in a place in God’s name, a community is formed.