Each year for the past 30-plus years, Christ United Methodist Church goes on a weeklong mission trip to Hollywood, S.C.
It's June 15th. The day is finally here, the week is finally here. The week of bug bites, sunburns, no phones, sleeping on a gym floor, sweating through clothes, downpours, hard work, and waking up before the sun comes up. The best week of the year is here: The South Carolina Mission Trip.
Sounds fun right? Well it’s a blast. The mission trip is a week of fun, fellowship, and hard work.
This year on my site, I had the privilege of roofing in the hot Hollywood sun for someone who could not afford to get the roof done on their own. We took roofing shovels and ripped up every single shingle off of the roof by hand.
This is hard work, and along with the heat, humidity, and sun it’s enough to make you sweat. A lot. My first day on the site I was ripping the shingles off of the porch roof. After not even 45 minutes of working I had sweated through my pants and shirt. This was just the beginning.
Once the shingles were ripped up, we began to replace plywood that had rotted because of leaks. After these were replaced we rolled tar paper out and nailed it down. Next we had to measure, line up and place shingles down. While a group was working on the shingles, a group of us were tasked with tearing down the porch roof because it was rotted past repair.
After a day of demolition we had to begin constructing the new porch roof. This consisted of making and raising a 30-ft. beam out of two 2-by-6s. After the beam was raised by seven of us we had to attach it to the house with cross beams. We had to cut 20 or so of these and screw them in place. Once half of the roof was re-shingled, we began to rip off the other half’s shingles.
In the process of doing this it began to pour rain. Like I mean downpour. So we quickly gathered all of our tools and finished laying down tar paper. Then we all waited in the garage for the rain to stop. During the storm, I went inside the house to see if there were any leaks on the side we had just exposed. There were.
So me and my friend grabbed a few tarps, our hammers, and nails and climbed the ladder up onto the roof. We frantically began to unfold the tarp and fasten it to the exposed part of the roof. After we were finished we climbed back down. I felt and looked like I had jumped in a pool. But I was having a blast. We all were.
We were dancing in the rain on the roof and having a great time.
Because of water damage, some of the insulation and ceiling had to be removed. So me and three of my buddies suited up. Gloves, respiratory masks, and safety glasses were all put on. We went in and began tearing it all down. We had fiberglass raining down on us. It was so hot when we breathed in that our glasses fogged up. Once we finished, we were covered in ceiling and fiberglass.
Due to the sheer amount of work we had to complete on our site and the heat of the roof, our crew went in early on most days. On three of the days, we were so close to completing our goal for that day that a group of our crew would stay behind and try to finish that task. Because of this, we had 10-, 11-, and 12-hour workdays.
For me, the best part of the week is in getting to know your homeowner and seeing the smile on their face at the end of the week when they see the finished product. Sweat dries, bruises go away, but the impact we have on our homeowners and the Hollywood community lasts forever.
I am so grateful for everyone that makes this week possible. The adults who take a week of their vacation, the leaders who are planning year round, the donors, the Hollywood community, and the Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church all make this week happen. Thank you to everyone that makes this week so much fun.
Make a friend, be a friend.
Missed the first story in this series? Read it here: