Habitat 2020: Sunday – We’ve Arrived!
ELYSE SCHROEDER and JENNIFER SOUTHERTON
What a day! It has certainly been filled with a lot of excitement. I was full of energy when I arrived on the main campus of Lourdes at 6:15 this morning for my third Habitat Trip!. I could not wait to get on the road! After a photo op and prayers from the lovely Sr. Barb and Sr. Ann Carmen, we headed out around 7. A few faces in the van with me were not very familiar, so we started the roughly ten hour drive by talking about what everyone’s current favorite song is or who a favorite musical artist is. On the ride here, we had time to bond over and listen to similar music tastes, which eventually led to other conversations of shared interests (I’m looking at you, my Harry Potter peeps). The ride here allowed me to not only get to know my fellow group members, but also to begin to wonder what this week would have in store for us. Once we arrived at the First United Methodist Church of Lenoir, we had the opportunity to meet our site manager, Wendyll, a few other Habitat affiliate staff members, and some of the church members. It was awesome to get to meet all of these people, and we even had the chance to play a few games with one of the Church’s youth groups. I am so glad that everyone here is so friendly, and this has led me to be sure that this will be a great week!
As the clocks “sprung forward” this morning, the Habitat team sprung out of bed to be at Lourdes by 6:15am! Every member was at least 15 minutes early! I was quite impressed. We were blessed to be sent off with prayers offered by Sr. Barb and Sr. Ann Carmen! They concluded the send off by praying, “May the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” Amazingly enough, the youth group at the Methodist Church where we are staying invited us to pray the same benediction with them this evening! This prayer framed a day packed with laughter, music, light-hearted conversation, and Blue Ridge Mountain beauty. For weeks, I have been meticulously going over details, trying to plan this trip to be as successful as possible. Since this is my first year as the Campus Minister at Lourdes, I have been equally excited and apprehensive about this adventure. All I want is for these students to be safe, happy, healthy, and positively impacted. Today brought me nothing but peace and joy for this opportunity to serve alongside these students and grow with them! The people here are remarkably welcoming – southern hospitality is in full swing! It is sure to be a great week!