Landscaping? Really?

Every summer at our TEAMeffort camps, we work on home after home doing all sorts of construction projects.  Whether it be a roof, deck or ramp thousands of youth get the opportunity to hammer in nails or wield power tools for the first time.  It’s very satisfying to see a young man or woman successfully cut a board or drive in a screw.  It also very satisfying to see the response of a homeowner as they see their home changed before their eyes.
We would love for every single person to spend an entire week working on a big construction project, but sometimes the homeowners need something else.  No matter where we work, there are always extra jobs that need to be done.  Inevitably, landscaping is going to be one of them.  A lot of the people we work for either don’t have the financial or physical ability to keep up with the yard, and we have the cool opportunity to step in and meet that need.
I’ll be honest, landscaping isn’t the most fun job to do at camp.  You don’t really get to use power tools and you don’t get to build much either.  I’ve been the person who gets bummed out when you get picked for landscaping duty.  Somehow it seems like you sweat more and that the sun shines even brighter on you while you’re on your hands and knees in the dirt.  However, with the right attitude, landscaping can do something beautiful for the homeowners we are serving!
As you pull weeds, cut branches, and plant flowers, you start to see a transformation take place.  What was once a rundown house with a cramped, wild looking yard starts to become a home with space to walk around, and enjoy. An elderly woman can now walk out into her yard and sit under her favorite tree.  A family can now let their young kids play in the grass without fear of snakes or spiders hiding in the tall grass.  Not only does it affect the physical appearance of the house, but I think it can affect the hearts of the family.  It can give them hope and confidence, a sense that maybe they are loved after all.
I know that landscaping may not be the most fun or attractive job to do this summer.  However, the job is there, so why not be the one to volunteer to lead the charge?  And yes it may only be temporary, but it may inspire the neighbors or the local church to step in when you leave.  Let’s meet the needs of these people this summer.  Let’s do it together.