Grace Church has offered a youth mission trip each summer for the past 18 years. This year, 13 teens and six adults traveled to West Bend, Wisconsin to work with Habitat for Humanity from June 2 through June 8.

Five graduating seniors were a part of this year’s trip. They presented the homilies at our 8 and 10 a.m. worship services on June 9. The following text is published with permission from its author, senior Kelly Davis.

senior - kelly_optIn reading this week’s readings, I noted that it’s my duty to service others, no matter my conditions. I haven’t always felt this way, though. Freshman year, I signed up for all the fundraising events leading up to the mission trip. But as the mission trip quickly approached, I resented more and more the fact that I would have to give up a whole week of my summer to help some people I’d never met. So, I happily stayed at home. But that happiness quickly faded as I was listening to everyone’s stories the following Sunday. It’s because of those stories that I was inspired to attend the next mission trip.

This week while I was shoveling away, occasionally feeling like one of Santa’s elves, I caught a glimpse of Beauty, the house’s future owner, watching us with the biggest grin on her face. That alone was enough payment for my three measly weeks of time that I’ve donated over the years. It was that smile that was the instant gratifications I was search for on this trip. I couldn’t have even dreamt a better week and I’m saying that even after our slight disappointment of arriving at the job site to find that not even the foundation had been poured.

So it’s over these three years that I’ve learned it’s not what you do, but why you do it.


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Read other senior missioner homilies:

Read more about the trip and see a slide show.

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