Broaden your horizons and serve during spring break

It’s been difficult answering the question, “How was your spring break?” My response begins with a smile that spreads across my face and a sigh. I go on and explain how the Lord filled my heart with so much love and goodness the past week. I met so many amazing people, worked on awesome projects, and saw God moving in so many ways. 

Ten strangers left on Saturday morning for Houston and conquered a ten hour car ride. We partnered with Samaritan’s Purse to rebuild several homes that were damaged by hurricane Harvey. 

Over the week I worked on a few tasks, but that’s not what impacted me the most. God worked in me through the people I met. I met a woman named Abi, a professing Muslim. Her home had a foot of water in it during the flood and she recalled her son throwing some of her possessions out the window and telling her to get out of the house. 

While I was working, I chatted with Abi. Although I was there to help her, she blessed me more with her words than I expected. She asked me questions about my life, my relationships, and my future. She went from a stranger to a dear friend in a matter of hours.

The second homeowner I talked with was Rodney. Rodney had surgery several years ago that prevents him from working and putting him on disability. I expected to see him sitting out on a lawn chair during the day, watching us work. But as soon as we started on his house, he put his tool belt on, grabbed his hammer, and worked right alongside me. When I ran out of supplies, he insisted he fetch them rather than me. He was truly a hard worker.

That first Saturday, if you would have asked me what I was dreading about the trip, I would have answered the lack of rest. I knew we’d wake up at 6:15 every morning and hang out in the evenings. Despite those early mornings, I made it back to John Brown University’s campus with more energy than I’ve had in weeks. The only explanation I have is Abi and Rodney, who were more of an inspiration to me than most people I’ve met. 

One homeowner told my friend that she would go through the hurricane again because it brought her closer to God. Can you imagine that? Willingly going through a storm just to meet God? They lost so much in the flood but gained much more through Samaritan’s Purse.

If you’ve never gone on a fall or spring break trip, it’s so worth it. Maybe you won’t get as much sleep as you think you need, but God will be there. I feel like a different person because God has molded my heart more to his desires.