Through a Trinity LEMO (Lenten Easter Mission Offering) grant, the Called Up program spent a week this summer doing Superstorm Sandy relief in Long Island, NY. Anne Marie Blackmon writes about that experience:

“What will you tell people about the mission trip?”
When asked this question one young lady replied, “a LOT!”

After wrestling with the question myself, I concluded a week on a mission trip is about as close to heaven on earth as one can get.

We rose before 7am, ate, did chores, packed lunches, loaded tools and water coolers, and drove to work sites. On site we worked and we worked hard. We used porta-potties, wore helmets and goggles and got filthy. We took short showers in a trailer and rarely had free time because the half-mile drive from the showers back to our living quarters took too long in NY traffic. We ate dinner, went to worship, visited with new friends and dropped off to sleep on air mattresses in a church basement each night at 11pm. Then we rose the next day and did it all over again. How can that be heaven on earth?

Because we were all there with one common purpose- to serve someone else. Our mission team became a little community where personal needs and personal space weren’t nearly as important as serving God and others. It was a community where friends got out of their air mattresses at 5am to pray for us as we headed back to Richmond. Selfishness was put aside for selflessness. It seems to me that’s what heaven is like.

Thank you Trinity United Methodist Church for grant funds to make the trip to NY. Thank you Mary Hetzel for introducing so many of us to the Micah initiative and each other. Thank you Bob Argabright for answering the call to read with second graders for an hour a week so many years ago and for your to tireless commitment to the Oak Grove community ever since. It is Bob who pulled together this special team of young women. Without the financial support and spiritual encouragement from the Trinity congregation, Mary and Bob this trip may not have happened. You are good and faithful disciples and we will honor you by trying to be the same.

Learn more about Called Up and Trinity’s LEMO grants.