Last Friday afternoon, me and close to 200 other students from LU loaded up on buses and headed up to Binghamton, New York.

Our goal in New York was to serve the residents there whose homes were affected by the floods from Hurricane Irene. During this short weekend trip, I came away learning 4 major things.

1. When dealing with disasters: even when the rest of the world moves on, people still hurt.

I don’t know exactly how long it’s been since Hurricane Irene swept the east coast, but I do know that it seems like it’s been at least a month or two in my book. I remember seeing it all over the news for a couple days and then right after it passed that was it. I never heard anything else about it. So, I forgot about it. But what I learned this past weekend was that even when the media stops covering it and everyone forgets about it, there are still people who desperately need help and are broken over what has happened to them. This weekend encouraged me to continue to pray for places like Japan and even New York, as they continue to recover from these disasters.

2. The “stuff” that we have, our materials, are so temporary.

As I was standing inside one of the houses that we were working on, I looked out of one of the windows and saw something that just broke me. Laying on the wet ground, soaked in water, were dozens of home videos, DVDs, and kid’s toys. My first thought was how upset I felt about everything that these people had was going to be thrown away. But then I was quickly reminded of just how temporary material items are. As much time, effort, energy, emotions, and money as we put into our things, they truly are temporary. I was reminded that the only thing that we can ALWAYS hold onto, especially in times of tragedy, is the word of God. 1 Peter 1:25 – “but the word of the Lord endures forever.”

3. Any opportunity you ever get to serve is going to be worth it.

This weekend trip to Binghamton was no vacation. We did work. We pulled floors up, knocked walls out, pumped and shoveled basements out, power-washed walls and floors, removed anything and everything from homes, etc. It was hard work. We got tired. The lights came on at 6 o’clock every morning. We were sleeping on a gym floor. We had to work eight to nine hour days. To the large majority of people, what we were doing would not be considered fun. But on our last day, as we handed a man a Bible that we had all signed, and as we circled up with every arm on a shoulder and prayed for this man, and as we watched tears drip down his face, it was all worth it. Any chance that we will ever have to serve or love someone will always be worth the time and effort.

4. When you go on a trip with the Southern Baptist, you won’t have to worry about food!

Them Southern Baptist sure do know how to eat! Praise the Lord! 🙂

This is a picture of the team I was working with for the weekend. Team 3, REPRESENT!!

  1. deborah krummel says:

    Nathan and all the team thanks for being a reflection of God’s love to all you touched.
    Also, his hands, feet, and heart.

    Deb K. in Texas

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