The Third West Virginia Experience: Church-Family Values

And now I tell you about the previous week’s adventures! (: 

It lived up to its usual standard of amazingness, which means I can’t fully describe it in just words and pictures. I think it’s probably better described in bits from its atmosphere – the mud all over the soccer field, the way a hug from your best friend feels, the sound of a hundred children screaming about how much God loves us, the feeling you get when everyone in the room is worshiping God as a unit. Those are the little things that blow me away about it.

One thing that stood out to me especially this year was how God puts every person there with you for a reason, and you all ultimately bond and become a church family by the end of the week. It is probably my favorite Perk of Being a Christian, the church family. It rocks. Here’s a list of things church-families do that make it different from a family family. 

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1. They’re always close by. It is the extravert’s dream come true. During trips like these, we bunk together, eat together, have a meeting before everyone leaves to their respective work teams. Alone time is generally not a thing. But, these people are also people you can be alone with. 

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2. They take care of each other. And not just in a I-work-so-that-I-put-food-on-the-table-and-pay-for-your-education kind of caring, although that is important. Caring like if someone has a need, they can go tell one of their friends, and their friend will fulfill that need!! See above. (This picture is prettier than the rest because it’s not mine. S/O to J-Rodge!) I look super happy. This is because my shoulders are tense basically 100% of the time, and shoulder massages are high up on the list of my favorite things. And I hate feeling like I make people go out of their way, so I don’t ask for them, like, ever. I just give them and hope for one in return someday. But here, I only have to say the three magic words: “I feel tense” for someone to start taking care of me. The servant’s heart sticks around even when we aren’t serving.

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3. We serve others. This is where the servant’s heart comes into play normally. My project this year was to de-shingle and re-shingle an entire roof. We didn’t know the man we were working for, or how much money he made, or where he went to college, or if he went to college. Didn’t matter. He had a need.

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Also, in the process of serving others you meet some amazing people. Candace, Zoe and Emma are my little sisters, I am convinced. ❤

4. We have large amounts of fun. Whoever is thinking right now that Christians have less fun is wrong. What do we do, you ask?

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We remove each other’s appendices, of course. (We’re actually playing a game called Curses! that my friend Jonathan owns. If you’re looking for good clean fun, look no further.)

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We wear diapers on our heads and sneak around the church in wait to attack our youth pastor. (Well, some of us do. Some of us laugh and take pictures to use for blackmail later…)

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We get dressed up and take pretty pictures together. Clearly we are the most photogenic.

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We squish into the trunk of a Volkswagen and ride with the windows open, speeding down a tiny West Virginia road. This is my favorite picture from the whole week, honestly. Partially because my best guy friend and I are both being ridiculous and it captures our personalities perfectly, but mostly because I felt so content in this moment. We were all screaming and laughing because we were being so illegal by Northern Virginia’s standards and it was just pure fun, riding in the car with these people. 

I think that’s what I love most about the church family…when they’re around, the smallest moments fill you with the greatest contentment.

I love you all. ❤

-e

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