Published On: 11/09/17||0 Comments||Categories: Trip Stories||

Doing hurricane relief work in Houston was a life changing moment for me in way too many ways to count. Well, okay it was in exactly 22 ways and moments but I won’t bore you with all the details of each and every single one of them but nevertheless I assure you they will never be forgotten. Our fearless leaders James and Holly and a group of 22 missionaries helped rebuild a city destroyed by natural disaster. This was a place where the houses had such massive water damage and were riddled with so much icky mold, mother natures side effect standing in as our adversary to conquer. With our tools and wit, our teamwork, and faith, we carried and scored the slate rock, measured and cut the dry wall, removed the soggy insulation, tattered edges, we removed all of the debris and re-installed from square one. We painted too! #blessed

Truly this was the most transformative time so far in my life. Transformative for the house and also for me, and getting to meet all those lovely people, Jess and Matt and Chris and Mellissa and Joan and John and Kris and @celeryellery and mark and brad and ben and brandy and ted (thanks for the towel) and Diane and Bill and Richard and everyone! My main takeaway was the resounding optimism, for the joy was palpable, and the people of Huston whose houses were destroyed and lives displaced and memories literally washed away in hurricane level FLOODS never to be seen again and even after all of that dramatic hardship, these lovely families, Basel’s family, they all seemed to be dealing with nature’s gut punch not with anger or even sadness but with smiles on their face and happy hearts in their chests. And it changed me. It brought me closer to my faith. And I discovered that there is so much love in the world. So much love to give. So much love to receive. Give and receive love freely and to everyone. For everything is a gift. Look at what God has done. I am grateful and most happy when I am serving. Thanks!

God bless James! I hope our paths cross again!

Nate “Drill Bit Taylor” Hartley

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