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Blogity-blah-blah-blog: Hope Hill ~ Day 1 and 2

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hope Hill ~ Day 1 and 2

I'd like to talk about the mission trip I went on a couple weeks ago to the Hope Hill School in Hope, Kentucky. I might take the next 2 or 3 days to talk about it since there is so much to talk about. I'll section it off into the 7 days we were there. I'll tell you a little bit about the school first. Hope Hill is a school for teenage girls between the ages of 12 and 17 who have been abandoned, abused, or may have been into drugs and alcohol. Many of the girls have behaviors and can lash out violently or verbally. I've never seen it in the two years I've gone there, they're usually well behaved when work camps come, especially if the work camp is there to spend some time with the girls and do activities with them. The goal of Hope Hill is to give these girls a second chance at life, to try to turn them around so the don't end up dead or in jail. The program is Christ centered. There is a chapel at the school and the girls are encouraged to attend, but not forced. About 85% of the students attend. There is also a Bible study during the week and about 50% of the girls go to that.

Day 1 ~ The Arrival

We packed up our two church vans with supplies and luggage and started out around 7am. It's a 7 hour trip. I spent most of the time in a sleeping bag in the back seat because the air conditioning was blasting. I spent the time getting to know my teammates better, working on my laptop, reading my Bible and Relevant Magazine, and messing around with my cell phone. When we arrived we got unpacked, pictured above is the bunk house we stayed in. Some of the team members wanted to walk around the campus. I was there the year before so I gave them a tour. I told them about all the different buildings on campus and showed them the horses. They have a horse therapy program at the school.

After the tour we went back to the bunk house and just unwound from the long trip. We played some board games and read from some journals that people who have stayed in the bunk house have written in. There were some funny entries left in there, mostly by some teenage kids. One entry said: "Dear Journal, These last few days have been very weird. First yesterday Hillary got run over by a van and went to the hospital but nothing was broken, and I'm really glad nothing was because me and her were best friend for six years until middle school, but were still good friends. Then after that, the second bathroom in ours got flooded and then leaked through the wall into our room and got all over our stuff. That was bad plus today we looked at horses and one of them bit Rachel on the arm. And now its bruised. Plus its been raining pretty much everyday, all day. But I think God does everything for a reason and I'm glad that I got to come here. It should be all uphill from here. I feel that God brought us here for a reason and is doing his work. This is a very blessed place. I hope to come back next year. Bye." I think my favorite part is where she said "It should all be uphill from here." That's hilarious.

Day 2 ~ The Work Begins

We met the groundskeeper, Andy, to find out what jobs he had for us to do. The first job he had for us was to scrape the old paint off a fence and then repaint it. He told us we should have it done by noon. Here's the fence:

Noon? Oh, he must have meant noon next Thursday. I just want to say we were not done by noon. By the way, there are about 5 or 6 more sections of the fence that go out of frame to the right. But we did finish it before the trip was over as well as many other jobs I'll talk about later. We worked on the fence for a few hours and then went back to the bunk house for lunch. Then we met up with the girls at the school in the cafeteria. There were 45 girls attending the school at the time. One of our team members told her story about her life, it was pretty heart-wrenching. At one time her 10 year old daughter who came with us got up and gave her a hug while she was talking. All the girls at the school gave a big "Awwwwww." It was so sweet. That little 10 year old girl was the heart and soul of the trip, she got along with the girls at the school very well and she made a lot of friends. After the talk we did an art project with the girls, we tie-dyed bandannas. I wish we could have spent more time with the girls at the school but we only had limited time each day. We worked on the fence a little while longer and then went back to the bunk house to eat dinner and play some games and talk for awhile before going to bed.

I'll continue this story tomorrow.

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