On the back end… Hannah from Allendale

I’m almost halfway done here in Allendale which is a weird thought! It has gone a lot faster than I thought it would but that’s ok.  The past two weeks have been really busy with student trips here. It was really encouraging to have them here with all their energy and excitement for Allendale!

The whole feel of my days were changed because of them, and I love that! The students engaged the community in so many ways: serving at the summer program, building relationships with people at three different churches, painting and doing yard work, spending time with residents of a nursing home, going on trips with local kids, organizing a thrift store, working in the community garden and more!  Usually mission trips, you come, do work and then leave; that’s just how it works.  But I’ve been able to see on the back end what kind of impact the students have had on the Allendale community! Here are just a couple stories of how they have impacted Allendale:

1. The kids at club—On Monday morning I had two of my kids ask if the “Greenville people” were coming back or if more were coming. They had been so blessed by having volunteers every day for the past two weeks of summer and missed them!

2. Neal—One day I locked my keys in my car and not having triple A, I went to the police station to see if they could help me. They couldn’t but recommended the hardware store. So I walked over there and the owner, Neal, unlocks cars for a fee.  He asked me if I was with Grace and did it for me for free!

3. Christ Central Mission—I’ve been trying to connect with one of the ministries here called Christ Central but have a hard time doing so. Part of their ministry is the thrift store and food bank that some students were able to help with.  So I went by the main office of Christ Central to talk to the director but he wasn’t there. I ended up talking to the lady there for a while and it came up that I was from Greenville and here for the summer. She asked me if I was from Grace and got really excited! I’m now spending time with a family who is living in one of the transitional houses.

4. Tammy at the nursing home—Tammy is the activities coordinator at the nursing home our students served at.  I’ve been by a few times and she is always so gracious and excited to see me.  I went by again this week to thank her and talk about serving there more regularly.  But she was more concerned with getting the address of Grace and names of the youth pastors to tell her sister who lives in Greenville so she can go to church there! It was cool to give her all that information (once she discovered it’s not Grace Baptist) and see the impact that the students made on her, so much that she wants her sister to be a part of it! So neat!

There are more stories I could tell, but that’s enough to get the picture! I am really excited to continue to be a part of what the Lord is doing here and to see the repercussions that two weeks of trips have created here. The Lord is also teaching me a great deal and changing me through this! Continue to pray for Allendale, it s people, leaders and churches. They all need your prayers! Thank you for all your love and support!