While some students spent their summer on a beach towel by the pool, junior Jordyn Kreucher spent part of hers on an air mattress in Emmanuel Lutheran Church.
“It’s worth it,” Kreucher said about spending 13 nights at the Ashville, NC church.
Kreucher’s church, St. Paul Lutheran, has been working to rebuild and fix houses for years through the Appalachian Servant Event program. Kreucher recalled being hesitant to go on the mission trip last year.
“I didn’t know what I was getting into,” she said.
However, the experience was so gratifying that she couldn’t wait to return this year.
“This year, since I already had been on trip and knew what a great experience it was, I was really excited to go,” Kreucher said.
The typical workday began at six in the morning and was followed by a nearly two-hour bus ride into the Appalachian Mountains to the work site.
“When we [arrived] we surveyed the site, [saw] what work we had to do, [said] a prayer, and [then started] working,” explained Kreucher.
Jobs ranged from simple work like painting to more complex tasks like roofing, laying down flooring, and some electrical work.
“For a lot of situations, the people have been living there for over 30 years. . . they don’t have the money. . . for making the repairs,” said Kreucher.
This was the last chance for many homeowners to create a stable living environment.
“A few of the [homeowners] would not be able to keep living [in their homes] if we hadn’t [gone] and fixed the pipes and fixed the floor,” said Kreucher. “The inspectors were going to have to remove [the homeowners].”
Though her days were full of paint brushes and hammers, Kreucher learned there is a lot more to a mission trip than just hard work.
“I love working for God and helping people,” said Kreucher, “but a big part of it for me is who I get to meet.”
The volunteers formed a strong bond while working on their houses. Together, they were able to learn what it truly means to be a servant of God and see God in each other. The friendships Kreucher made on her past mission trips have lasted, as she keeps in contact with them throughout the year.
Kreucher left the trip with a new understanding of God’s call to help those who are less fortunate.
“The highlight of my trip was seeing the gratefulness of the homeowners [who] we worked for,” said Kreucher.