Memphis Day 5

Posted: July 20, 2018 by keystoneyouth in SOS Trip


Friday was a unique day. One of the things we always preach going into a trip like this is, “Be Flexible” because something is always bound to change during the week. Today that was the case. We went into this morning expecting to be on the job sites all day and then finish the day with a picnic at a local park. However, soon after we arrived to our job sites our team leaders informed us that there was a change in plans. The heat index was projected to rise to 115 degrees this afternoon. So to keep people safe and avoid injuries from the heat, the SOS staff decided that we would only work a half day and that the picnic would be cancelled. It was a little disappointing at first, but when we went out this afternoon for sno cones I was very happy that they made that decision. As soon as you stepped in the sun the heat hit you like a ton of bricks. None of us could have imagined being on the roof in the type of heat there was this afternoon.

This evening was bittersweet. It’s always exciting to head home after an exhausting week, but it’s also disappointing to leave a place and a group where you’ve experienced such a good time and made a lot of memories. I always love these trips because of seeing how the group comes together and works toward a common goal. This group demonstrated an incredible amount of joy and excitement even as they worked in very very hot conditions this week. They also displayed the type of togetherness that I pray for in a team. Nobody was left out and students who tend to be more reserved showed a side of their personality that I don’t get to see on Sundays.

I love seeing the group come together and getting to watch as friendships are developed in a week like this. I love to see students feel like they are a part of the group. I love to see students step up as leaders with both their words and actions. I love the side conversations that pop up with students about what they’re passionate about or what they’re facing that’s really difficult. These trips continue to be an incredible gift and I cherish the opportunities, memories, and ways that students grow as a result of these trips. I think we can walk into these trips expecting God to work in some big flashy way (i.e. a homeowner getting saved or everyone breaking down in tears during one of the lessons, or something like that…) But I think more often God is at work in a thousand small ways. Ways that we may or may not see on the trip. And the ways that he does work on these trips often ripples into the future: the relationships that are built, the challenges that are given, the ways students serve and care for one another, the passion to live for God and not just for self, and the willingness to take the next step into a life of missions and service when God calls them to. I’m beyond proud of this group and thankful that God has given me the privilege to lead another trip!

Questions to Ask Students When We Return:

My encouragement and challenge to you is to ask the students questions about their time here in Memphis. I think they will want to talk to you about it and share with you what happened through their eyes. This blog only gives you the week through my eyes. I would love for you to hear from the students on what it was like for them. But in the process, ask more than just, “How was your week?” It’s too easy for students (and for me) to respond to that question with a simple “Good.” Dig deeper to hear some of the stories and details from the week by asking good questions. Here are a few sample questions to ask the team as we return:

  • What was a highlight from your week?
  • What was difficult or frustrating during the week?
  • Who was the homeowner you worked with? What were they like?
  • What was something that stuck out to you from the chapel lessons? What did you think of the chapel speaker?
  • What stuck out to you from the visit to the Civil Rights Museum?
  • Would you ever go back to SOS again? Why or why not?
  • What was one way you saw God at work (in your own life, in someone else’s life, as a group, at SOS)?
  • What will you remember about this trip five years from now?


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