We're going to travel back in time a bit over the next few days. Back day by day to do the best I can telling you about our recent mission trip to the Hawaiian island of Maui. Although I did not take my computer I did journal every evening (yes, good old handwriting in a notebook). If I had not there would be no way I could remember.
Day 1 = Thursday, Travel Day
Up at 4am in order to meet Bev, Bobby and Hannah at the Sam's Club parking lot. Our goal was to be on the road to the airport by 6am. We are an hour in driving distance and with our plane leaving at 8:55am we wanted to be there, checked in and ready. Any "wait" time needed to be after we were checked in.
We were on the road at 6am sharp and parked, shuttled to our check in area and completely checked in by 7:45am. Some of us were concerned that our luggage might weigh in over the 50 pound limit but we were all under. Each checked bag cost us $25 so we all just checked one. Mary was to meet us there at the departure gate since she has family in Indy and stayed up there the night before. She was there, we were all ready to go and decided to grab a bite to eat.
The plane was already at the gate so we knew we would be able to leave right on time. The flight to Dallas was 2 hours with another 2 hour layover before departing directly to Maui.
Bev had only flown once before in her life and was a bit anxious about these flights. She is very prone to motion sickness and had both her prescription patch on and meds in her carry on if she needed them.
Both flights were on time. The one out of Dallas to Maui was an 8 hour flight, quite long! The landing was one of the roughest I have ever experienced and the rest of our group agreed. The pilot had to cross over the island and then make a U turn before landing. It's always very windy on the island and maybe that had something to do with it? Either way we had landed and met up with Charles, who had landed less than an hour before us, Sus and Autumn who had flown in the day before with their husbands and Becky who had also arrived a bit earlier.
We were taken directly to Alton and Linda's house where we had a few minutes to be introduced to everyone and get some land legs under us. The drive was only about 15 minutes which made us all happy.
Once there we were treated to a wonderful meal and quickly transported up the Kula mountain to their facility. Sus and Schel and Autumn and Kevin would be staying with Alton and Linda while the rest of us stayed on site. They wanted us to be there before dark so we could take a look around and atleast know where we were before going to bed. We arrived on the mountain in time to do all of that and just before it got dark. They are 6 hours behind us here in Indiana and it gets dark there around 7pm.
We got oriented and were more than tired as 9pm rolled around. Since that was 3am time for our bodies some of us had been up for almost 24 hours.
Day 2 = Friday, First Work Day
None of us slept very well but were up and ready to go. The nights there cool way down and since we had 2 box fans in the room we were colder than we thought. There isn't much air conditioning on the island but we sure didn't miss it that night!
Alton and Linda joined us by 8am and blessed us with bags and bags of McDonald's for breakfast - a welcome site for all of us.
We had morning devotions and decided to focus our work and energy on 2 priority projects; the living quarters upstairs where the site manager couple will live and the kitchen/pantry areas.
Bev got a morning call from Monty. He prayed with her and encouraged her and in doing so brought her to tears. (Back note = when I first mentioned this trip Monty's first comment to me was, "you need to find another woman to go with you as I don't feel called to go." Another woman? Are you kidding -- women don't do what I do!!!!! And then Bev felt the Lord was calling her to go but with her physical challenges she didn't think there was anything she would be able to do -- until I made the comment that Monty had made and then we all knew. She wasn't his "replacement" but she was my support, my companion, my friend and my God given partner) His phone call was such a blessing to both of us!
Charles, Bobby, Schel and Kevin took on the upstairs project while all the women tackled the kitchen and pantry. The pantry needed completely cleaned out and sorted and bleach cleaned. One of the biggest problems on island is termites. They eat everything --- and I mean everything. Alton and Linda are hoping to raise enough funding ($5000) to have the entire building tented and treated.
By lunchtime we had the pantry cleared and were organizing the contents in the sanctuary.
At noon our lunch arrived. We had a wonderful area outside to eat and were hungrier than most expected.
The afternoon took Becky upstairs where she could help the guys. They had been hanging sheetrock and she had plenty of experience in taping the joints and mudding. She ended up there the entire week and did a wonderful job!
The work in the kitchen continued with also taping and mudding over the ceiling joints and numerous places of damage on the walls. The younger ones caught on quickly and learned that mudding is like art and rather fun to work with.
Dinner was also delivered by some of the church members and was delicious.
Linda needed to make a run to the dump with alot of debris and scraps so I volunteered to go with her. On that trip she told me how she made her first mission trip to Maui with the MAPS group and felt in her heart she was to come back. She did return and met Alton as they were both Teen Challenge counselors. They have been married for 25 years and this House of New Life has always been their dream but had felt as though it might not happen. She told me our team was an answer to their prayers, years of prayers!
Evening was an option; go with Sus and Schel to a special youth service at the church or stay with us. Everyone but Bev and I decided to go to the service which Bev and I smiled about since we were the older ones there and it gave us a couple of hours to ourselves!
They showered quickly and were ready to go. The showers were located outside. Lava rock walls and one of them has a net for a roof while the other is open to the sky. There are 6 shower heads in each and for some it was quite the experience!
Bev and I decided to take a short drive around the place but that didn't end up very well. The curves and bends combined with the dark made it impossible to see and Bev's motion sickness really kicked up. We came back early and she layed down.
The kids came back really fired up from the service.
As I thought about how this first day was I found myself shocked at how much work had actually been accomplished. Monty and I have run teams for years and years and the first day is known for not being a day of production. This had not been one of those kind of first days!
The team worked as if they had known each other for years, not like most of them had just met one another. If you were an outsider you would not have been able to group them into the 2 church groups represented! God was already moving and I don't think anyone really realized it.
Charles cutting sheetrock for upstairs.
So days 1 and 2 have come to an end. The plan for tomorrow is already set. Everyone knows their part. Sus and Schel and Autumn and Kevin will only be working with us one more day as they also planned some time for themselves as couples with this trip.
Everyone was plenty tired but there were those up talking, sharing and allowing God to fill their hearts with even more love, devotion and service than imaginable!
Be sure and stay tuned for tomorrows blog which will be Day 3 = Saturday.
Until next time . . . to God be the glory! Susan and Monty