Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Austin's Letter to His Sponsors.

Greetings to my sponsors!

Well, the trip is over and I’m back. I cannot express my gratitude for your prayers and support that went into this trip. It simply amazes me how the LORD can give people the things they need in order to perform at their best during an excruciating trip, both physically and mentally. The LORD was present everywhere in that trip – on the bus ride up and back, in VBS, in our job sites – everywhere. And white water rafting was a blast!

VBS was amazing in all terms. Shelley told us that the YMCA people said that they had never seen a group so well prepared, and later in the week they said it was the best VBS they’ve ever had. What great compliments! The children were attached to us and it was probably the hardest thing on the trip to say goodbye to them. I had a few kids that followed me around all week. One of them told me that this was his first week at the YMCA and that I was the first friend he had there. Lincoln Wiseman did amazing songs and music that got the kids excited, and Daniel Stull hosted the recreation that gave the kids and teens a chance to have fun.

The house work was a great time too. We split the youth into 2 different groups, and worked on two separate houses the whole week. My house was literally on the side of a mountain and the mountain was falling down on it. We weren’t able to finish the house unfortunately, but we were able to get most of it done. We put tar on the roof, put new siding up, made a new deck and porch, put new windows in, and made the lady who lived in the house a new address sign. She was so nice and sweet; she made us food and gave us snacks when she had little to eat herself, and there were 23 of us. She made the BEST biscuit and fried chicken I have EVER tasted in my life. She made our job worthwhile and fun. The physical labor was intense, but a major blessing of the LORD was giving us the strength to make it through each day of work. The sun was hot and there were wasps and bee’s everywhere. One of our workers got stung by two wasps in the first 10 minutes at the site. Thank the LORD that I didn’t get stung at all this week, but everyone else got stung a lot. We gave her pictures of the week in frames, and she brought smiles to everyone this week.

As we debriefed Friday the 13th (ha-ha) at the church we were staying at, Shelley asked us a question that only one answer could be given. We weren’t able to come up with anything, therefore the only answer was ‘we cannot describe this week in a word’. This is simply the truth; there is no word to describe the week. But combine all the words like ‘great’ or ‘awesome’ or ‘amazing’ and put them all together, even then I still think a word is missing – God-filled. This was one of the best weeks of my life and at times I didn’t want it to end, and I cannot thank you enough for your financial support and prayers.

God bless,
Austin Gravley

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