When we first decided to join with friends from our church on a Nailbenders mission trip, what interested me the most was that our whole family could participate. At the time, I didn't fully grasp just how much could be accomplished in one short week. We had a bumpy start but that helped to reveal the true character of some of the youth and adults on the trip (several who really impressed me.) I was amazed at the hard work done by kids side by side with adults. As usual, I'm not sharing close-up pictures of other people's kids here on my blog without their permission so you can't fully grasp the number of hands working but there were well over a hundred each day.

     Though she started helping with the siding while they could still stand on the ground, Emily ended up joining me in the kitchen. That meant waking up super early each morning to help prepare a hot breakfasts (though we slept in a little later Friday morning.) I'd never cooked for over 100 people at a time and am still a bit astounded at the volume of food that we went through. A lot of planning went into the meals. As I learned, that much food can't be stored in a typical kitchen for a whole week or there would be no room to turn around. Because of that, we shopped each day for the part of the next day's food that wasn't delivered. The members of the church also brought in desserts to share each day.

     Heather learned how to measure, cut, and install sheet-rock. I became accustomed to seeing her up on the lift working on the ceiling (with her daddy!) Joseph even joined them there a few times. Along with meals, snacks were also provided. Joseph helped Em and others pass out chilled orange slices, apple quarters, and cookies. Another team made sure the drink coolers stayed filled with water and powerade.

     We got to see the church transform from what you see in the first two pictures to completed vinyl siding on all but the front and most of the sheet-rock done- all by volunteers! Wiring was also completed by capable hands.

     We were very blessed to stay with a host family during our trip, and I am thankful to them for their generosity. Youth from the church joined in the work, and fun activities were planned several evenings. I rested the first night while Mitch took our kiddos bowling with the group. The second evening was a tubing trip down a scenic part of the Shenandoah River. Thursday night our bus still hadn't arrived (it was repaired where it broke down in Tennessee on the way there) so the youth there decided to stay home and lent us their bus so adults and kids could go into Washington DC. The bus arrived just in time to load up and head back home Friday evening.



  1. This is great. I would love to do a family missions trip!

  2. How exciting! What a fantastic opportunity for your family to be a blessing! Your children will always remember this.

  3. It was a wonderful experience.

    Stacie, pray for the opportunity. This was an answered prayer for us.

  4. What an awesome thing to be a part of!

  5. To see your entire family working for the glory of God is a wonderful testimony to your strong family Christian beliefs and values.The pictures reflect the love and hard work as well as fun that went into the church construction.

  6. How wonderful that the whole family could work together on something like this.

  7. What a fabulous experience for you all.


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