Work Mission 2018 Recap

Wow! I can’t believe we are home already? What a week! Our trip up to Buffalo felt like we were in an episode of Gilligan’s Island! Our “3 hour tour” seemed like it would never end. Detours, pit stops, fuel….oh my! When boredom finally set in, I began to match our adults to a character from Gilligan’s Island and then we sang the theme song together upon our arrival (our character match ups are our little secret 😋). We were all able to have a good laugh, and it was the running joke all week. After dinner and devotions, we were given our team assignments. My team was made up of John, Heaven (Simpson UMC), Mikenzie, and Angelina (Makena’s best friend).

Everyone was up and ready to go Monday morning for breakfast and to find out what jobs we would be assigned to. Pastor Dee from Seneca United Methodist Church joined us for breakfast and told us about the families we would be helping this week. Shortly after morning chores were complete, we hit the ground running. Some went to their job site, while others went out for supplies. My team chose to work on some projects at Jamie’s House. Jamie is Seneca’s Director of After School Programs. She is extremely loved by their church and this was one way to thank her for giving so much of her time.


Team 2 (our team) scraped and painted Jamie’s front porch, hung a new storm door and did a little yard work. We were all getting to know each other better on Monday as well. We learned that Mr. Wolter is full of interesting little facts. My personal favorite was that a “flat head screw driver” is actually called a “flat blade screwdriver”. Who knew? 🤷🏼‍♀️ Also, he is extremely patient with young ladies (and old) who are learning the proper way to use the tools needed. We found out that Mikenzie and Angelina do NOT like wasps…neither do I, but shhhhhh, that’s our little secret. 😉
A trip to the hardware store for wasp spray was required by day 2. They both jumped right in when it came time to hang the storm door. Power tools were involved. Obviously this was much more interesting than scraping paint. By the time the door was up, neither of them needed any instruction or help. They were telling us what needed done next and how to do it. Ahhhhhh, proud “dude mom and dude man” (Angelina’s nicknames for us) moment. 😊 Heaven loves to paint. She couldn’t scrape paint fast enough. She was very quiet the first day and a half but not any more. She actually laughs at my corny jokes and stuff now. She has really come out of her shell and she takes extreme pride in her work. I’ve really enjoyed watching this transformation. It made my heart happy.

Heaven  found a “Reel Lawn Mower” at Jamie’s on Tuesday and decided she really like using it. I never thought I’d see a child enjoy using a mower without a motor but she took it upon herself to try it and she just kept going. It was hot on Tuesday. I came around the corner and found Mikenzie and John in a water fight with the hose and of course I had to join in. I said “ hey it’s Niagara Falls”…..and that started the wheels turning about a trip to the American Falls for the “rookies”. After dinner, 12 of us loaded up in the van and took off for the American Falls. I forgot just how beautiful they were. The kids were amazed and couldn’t believe Canada was just across the water. We had a lot of laughs on our “adventure” home.
Wednesday looked like storms were headed our way. We needed to add the closer on Jamie’s storm door so we got over there quickly and finished that. We didn’t want her beautiful new door to blow away. We finished right around lunch, just before the rain came. Once we ate lunch, we joined Team 3 at The Baker’s. The Baker’s needed their front porch scraped and painted, the front of the house restained, and flooring laid in their daughter’s bedroom. John, Mikenzie and Angelina started working on the flooring, and Heaven and I helped scrap the paint on their front porch. While we were scraping, Miss Lucy (age 9), came out and started chatting with me. We quickly became friends and I showed her how to scrap paint and off she went. When it was time to knock off for the day, Lucy wanted to keep going. We explained to her that she needed an adult there to keep scraping, so she offered to sweep up the paint chips after we left. As we were getting ready to load up, the family handed me a tray of cupcakes to take back to our group for dinner. I was blown away. Here we are helping this family in need and they are handing us a gift to say “Thank You”. The tears started flowing. I was a mess. It hit me at that very moment why we do this. This family was beyond grateful for the work these kids were doing. It was something they were unable to do themselves, and they wanted to give something back.

Thursday was Rec Day!!!! 1/2 day of work and the rest of the day was spent at Fantasy Island. It was a small amusement park with a small waterpark but the kids had a blast. I, personally, enjoyed the hour or so that Tammy and I spent floating around the lazy river….even if it was an ice bucket when you first got in. It was nice to relax. We had dinner and ice cream there and were headed home by 8pm.

Friday was our last day! Believe it or not, I was really sad that our work was done. It was a HOT day though. We wanted to get done quickly so we could get back to the church and get ready for our dinner with the families. Iris, Heaven, and Mikenzie finished painting the railings and edges of the porch, and I painted the floor of the porch. John, Cyncere, and Angelina finished laying the flooring in Kristen’s bedroom, and Grandpa Dave finished up loose odds and ends. I did get to make a stop at Rev. Mark’s job site earlier in the day and see the work they were doing on Ms. Fanny’s front porch. They did an AMAZING job rebuilding her 100 year old porch. I was also glad to see my Makena in action. We made it back to the church by 1:30, so the kids were able to rest some and get cleaned up for dinner. Tammy, Sydney and Henry worked hard in the kitchen all day preparing our dinner to share with the families from Seneca Street UMC. We had shredded bbq chicken sandwiches, sloppy joes. spaghetti salad, Tammy’s DELICIOUS mac n cheese, salads, baked beans, and tons of desserts (provided by The Baker Family). What a amazing night of fellowship. It was an absolute honor to help these families and to get to know them. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to be the hands and feet of GOD in Buffalo, and for the lesson Makena and I learned while there.

Thank you for all of your support and prayers from home. We greatly appreciate them. We had a safe, fun, and productive trip, but it’s good to be home.

Also, I want to give a HUMONGOUS shout out to our kitchen crew who kept our tummies well fed last week. Tammy, Syd, and Henry, we can’t thank you enough for all of your hard work this past week. Without your dedication, and patience, this trip would not have been as successful as it was. Thank you from the bottoms of our of our hearts!!!


Thursday, June 28th

Recreation Day

Today, we are going to a waterpark. I am going to ride so many awesome rides!


We woke up to rain and clouds, we went to our job sites, worked hard and the sun came out. We’re having a beautiful day at Fantasy Island and are planning on devotions at the park. Planning on dinner with our families tomorrow night. God is good!!!


Wednesday, June 27th

Team One: Third Day on the Work Site

Today, it rained and we still worked in it, we finished the porch and tomorrow we finish the railings on the porch. we left around 3:00 because we finished for the day.


Tuesday, June 26th

Team 2: Day Two on the Worksite

Today, we painted the front deck, we didn’t get to put on the sealer but we are doing it tomorrow and also the back stairs. We also started to put in a storm door “almost finished.”


Team Kitchen Update

What I learned today: Today’s breakfast was French Toast with sausage and mixed fruit. Wake up was 6 a.m. for the missionaries, which meant it was really early for the kitchen crew. Today, I learned that it takes much more time to make eggless French Toast than regular French Toast. Much longer!! It took me the same amount of time to make 40 regular pieces as it did to make 8 pieces without eggs. Good to know!!! Dinner tonight was chicken tacos, black bean salsa, tortilla chips and fried ice cream. iHasta Mañana!


Monday, June 25th

Team 1: First Day on the Worksite
We began demolition today on a very nice lady’s porch.
There was nothing under one of the support beams for the roof, which was concerning, but Rev. Mark got some boards in place underneath to hold it up.
We had a casualty of Henry’s hammer, which split in half. Other injuries included Makena hitting her finger with a hammer and Laythyn getting smacked in the nose with a board. John John got down in a hole along with Kiyah. They were knocking the boards out from the bottom.
We ate our lunch at the church we worked on last year, which was right nearby.We got about 3/4 of the porch torn off, and tomorrow we’ll finish demolition and start rebuilding the porch. We missed our exit on our way back to the church and then we passed the church, so we didn’t get back until about 5.
—Madi and Makena
Team 3: First Day on the Worksite
Greetings from an entire 1/3 of Team 3. (We only have 3 people. Our team number is fitting.)
Today we began work at the Baker household, after dropping Team 2 off at their worksite. The original plan was to install a shower stall. However, due to complications and lack of manpower, we have started another job there. Cyncere and I worked on scraping old paint off the front porch, and then climbed a ladder to begin repainting. This was a challenge as we were painting the ceiling, which had nails sticking out of it every five inches or so. This task involved a lot of ducking, white paint, and the phrase “don’t get stabbed”. We’ve completed about a 1/3-1/4 of the painting we need to do on the ladder. We will also be painting the floor and beams of the porch, and sealing the front wall of the house, as it is wooden.
We breaked for lunch, which we ate in the van (sweet air conditioning). The Baker family had a very friendly dog, as well as a cat that seemingly appeared out of nowhere while Dave was measuring the floor. We finished up around 3, headed over to get Team 2, and headed back to Clarence UMC around 3:30, where we waited for Team 1 to arrive with an explanation of just exactly how lost they had become or what detour they had taken.
Team Kitchen Update
Tonight’s menu was Shepard’s pie three ways — featuring Henry’s mashed potatoes, baked corn, salad bar and Sydney’s pineapple peach dump cake.

Sunday, June 24th

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12:10 p.m.

We are on the road! We watched over 100 cyclists participate in the Cops Ride charity motorcade.

—Tammy Moore


1:00 p.m.

18 missionaries, 14 coolers, 12 pounds of lunch meat and too many cookies to count are setting out for our return trip to Buffalo. We are stopping for a quick lunch, then back on the road!

—Tammy Moore


6:30 p.m.

After arriving at 6:14 p.m., we had a late dinner of salad, watermelon and Clarence Pizza. Our beds are set up and we’re going to find out our teams tonight.

—Tammy Moore

Feeding the Community Body and Soul