When we arrived at the church in Crisfield, one of our key objectives was to recollect on our welcoming moments at the end of each day. While building a brand new house for a seventy year old woman named Lucy, who lost everything during Super Storm Sandy, we were blessed enough to meet two wonderful supervisors; Chip and Ray. Ray was the man in charge and let me tell you, he was bossy and grouchy. By the end of the mission experience, we were able to get his hard exterior to crack. On the other hand, Chip was shy at first, but then later opened up to us, proving he had an overarching sense of humor and total generosity, such as when he offered me his already half eaten peach.
Winslow Weiss, 9th Grade:
The Mission Possible 2014 trip to Crisfield was my first mission trip. Crisfield is a small town, and it was somewhat overlooked when Hurricane Sandy hit, but even so, I was skeptical when I heard that we would be going to provide relief from a storm that struck in October of 2012. Now, some did work on building a new house because the old one was severely damaged by Sandy, but the rest of us didn’t always directly work on Sandy-related projects. I spray-painted a swing, trimmed hedges, and looked for an important document at the local Library, but all of these activities did not address any direct results of Hurricane Sandy. However, many people were devastated by Sandy, and although much of the damage had already been done, and many people had already received help, the fact that someone still cared enough to assist Sandy victims in a town as small as Crisfield helped them psychologically. I may not have done much physical labor, but my presence, along with the work I did do, helped the Sandy victims recover emotionally. We offered our presence. Sometimes just showing up can be very powerful.
Matthew Thompson, 9th Grade:
Going to Crisfield, Maryland was the first mission trip I embarked on. Being one of the few newcomers, it took some time to feel welcome. I was extremely quiet at first because I felt intimidated by high school students, but eventually, I became comfortable enough to call them my friends. Meeting these new people was just like a campfire with the wood as the stories and jokes we shared and the flame as the relationship we built. You start off with burning kindling and gradually add more and more wood to build a nice, steady fire. Even when the fire burns out, you are still left with the blazing embers that seem to burn on for a lifetime. When we helped the people of Crisfield, we welcomed them into this flame of friendship.
Bo Flint, 11th Grade:
When I think back to our mission trip, three words come to my mind. They are fellowship, commitment, and graciousness. We started our trip with a hug and goodbye from our loving families followed by a near three hour car ride to Crisfield. From then on out our group began to create inseparable bonds that may last a lifetime. This was caused by the fellowship that occurred between us. Our commitment in the work we preformed shined through even in the toughest of times. The hottest days, the humid climate, and the onerous tasks we pushed through with commitment. Our graciousness prevailed in such a way to be an imperative quality to our trip. One such example was how up until the last working hour of the last working day, it was hot and humid. The last day some would think of it as torrential down pour, we would call it liquid sunshine. The streets of Crisfield were partially flooded, and the crew of mission possible enjoyed every minute of this event by either making waves in the van driving through the streets with Tommy Thompson or stomping through puddles. The appreciation to the much needed rain was cherished throughout our group through a laugh and a smile. We are grateful for our St. Thomas family for the love, time, and support provided and the burning fire of this community.
Jim Weiss, Youth Chaperone:
I am a vestry member and I work at the barn where every second Saturday we hold a Barn Sale to raise funds for Outreach---including Mission Possible. This was my fourth Mission Possible trip.
I had never been to Crisfield before, so when I signed on as a chaperone, I didn't know exactly what to expect. To go to Crisfield now one might not notice evidence of the storm damage. The people there are known for their fierce independence. So, after the storm, many residents were reluctant to ask for the help that they needed.
We met June Wharton, who is 93. June greeted us at her small house with her wispy white hair perfectly coifed and invited us in. She told us that as the storm approached she told her sister that she'd be fine. But when the flood waters rose outside her door, and when her power went out, she tried to call her sister back, but the line was dead. She doesn't own a cell phone. She sat there in the dark and rode out the storm. She was finally rescued by a neighbor the next day. June was brought to tears when she heard that our young people were coming to work in her yard. The psychic damage of the storm remains, and the people like June were glad to know that they were not forgotten.
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