Summer Stories: Copperhill

This past summer, I was on staff with TEAMeffort in Copperhill, TN. It was the best and most challenging summer of my life thus far. The theme, “Pray As You Go” really rang true in so many moments. There are so many awesome memories to pick from, but today I am going to try to tell you about one such moment.
I went into TEAMeffort not knowing really anything about construction. All summer long, God brought me groups that had the exact skills I needed with the exact level of enthusiasm needed to accomplish them. I saw middle school students put down their phones and love on homeowners. I saw high school students step out and take on leadership well above what might be expected from their age group. I saw adults encourage and challenge their students to be present, while being present themselves.
The last week on a site that I had been on all summer was particularly bitter-sweet for me. We were wrapping up a fairly large shed project that we had been working on all summer. It was 100 degrees almost every day that week. Even still, I rarely heard a complaint. This group was the kind of group who you had to force to take a lunch break. Who when you gave them a task, they went above and beyond. They were constantly thinking about extra tasks they could do to make the projects better.
One day, they decided that the shed we had been building deserved an artistic touch. We discussed it and I gave them free reign to decorate the door however they wanted and use any scrap pieces of wood.
What they came up with was not only beautiful but brought our homeowner to tears. They decorated the door with flowers and the words, “Pray As You Go.” They also built a study bench out of scrap wood and painted our homeowner’s name on it.
Their sweet love for our homeowner and their heart of service really encouraged me and touched my heart. It reminded me why I chose to spend my summer on staff: To show God while meeting practical needs and loving on people, specifically, above and beyond what was expected.
Behind the scenes though, finishing that shed was just such an awesome testimony to God’s power. Honestly, I think God built and finished that shed because there is no way that I did or even my awesome groups did. The challenge to “Pray As You Go” was a very necessary thing. It was 95% of just trusting and praying to God to put people and things where they needed to be. The other 5% was trial and error, and even in that, we definitely prayed as we tried to figure it out!
Our God is such a faithful God who loves to show up and show off in everyday challenges. My summer with TEAMeffort was definitely proof of that.