We have arrived in Marion County, SC! The team members met in the Lourdes University Welcome Center at 5:45 am this morning for a picture and a blessing, and hit the road at 6:15 am. The drive was quite pleasant, and with pit-stops every two hours, it somehow made the drive seem much shorter than I anticipated! The van pulled into the church parking lot around 7:40 pm and the crew excitedly got acclimated to our generous accommodations!

The Habitat for Humanity staff here told me over the phone that we’d be in the middle of nowhere – that might’ve been an understatement! We’re really not far at all from the beautiful Carolina beaches, but you wouldn’t know it! This is one of those places you drive straight on through to get to the beach…there wouldn’t even be anywhere to stop for a bathroom break in this county!

The reality is, the people in this area matter as much as the people who live in more populated or “more beautiful” areas. And so far, the people we’ve met here have left us with the impression that there is tremendous beauty to behold in this community.

Reverend Bailey has graciously opened his Church buildings to us and has been so welcoming and generous. We will have every meal provided for us by various churches and organizations this week – a very rare occurrence, even for Habitat trips!

The support and appreciation that the greater Marion County area has for their Habitat volunteers has been emphasized to me by every person to whom I’ve spoken in preparation for this mission trip. The street on which we will be working used to have many problems with drugs and prostitution. Now the street has multiple Habitat houses. This has been transformative for the county. Habitat is a staple of this area, and we are honored to help carry on this good work, even if it’s just for a fleeting moment in time.

I’m reminded of a quote by St. Therese of Lisieux: “Remember that nothing is small in the eyes of God. Do all that you do with love.” As we kick off this week of service, my prayer is that our team will silently turn the work we do into a prayer. I pray we will offer all we have to give with great love and intentionality. And I pray that we can humble ourselves to be Christ’s hands and feet, so that He may continue to bless this beautiful community.

2022 Habitat Team at the worksite

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