Twelve youth and five adults from our church recently traveled to Eastern Tennessee to help refurbish homes for needy families.
The group stayed at the Cedar Creek Presbyterian Church Mission Center near Greeneville and worked to repair the porch railing of Cedar Creek Store and a Cedar Creek Presbyterian Church member’s deck railing. Other projects included repairing a roof, landscaping, placed posts for a deck to be completed by the new group coming the week after, cleaned up around the mission center, and spread 100 bags of mulch at a historic African American graveyard.
Team members also enjoyed meals, devotion, and free time together. But what better way to learn about what we did than hearing it from the amazing youth who went.
"This was my 3rd year at Cedar Creek, and it was also the year with the most rain. Even with the bad weather, we were still able to accomplish many projects and help many people in the community. One of my favorite things about this trip is the kindness and hospitality we are shown every year. From getting good morning hugs and home cooked meals, to smiles and popsicles on work sites, you can always tell how much our work is appreciated and the impact that it has on the people we serve. I’m grateful for the time we spent at Cedar Creek helping others and bonding with each other, even when we got lost on the way home!" -Christian Kelly
"I really like the work that we get to do at cedar creek because it’s more hands on and that kind of stuff I think brings everybody together and really work as a team. I thought I got to know more about some of my peers on this trip an become more connected with some of them. This is why I like cedar creek and also the food is amazing." -Mason Nolley
"This was my fourth year at Cedar Creek, I found this year, more than any other year, that our work directly impacted their lives instantly! The joy and generosity of these families toward us was unmatched from providing water to popsicles and inviting us back for a cookout next year at the house where we built a deck. All of our brothers and sisters in Christ showed such selflessness putting mission work for others above work on their own homes both financially and with their talents. We can all learn to serve more like the Cedar Creek brothers and sisters!" -Claire Stalnaker
"The Cedar Creek trip has been a formative part of my high school journey, and even on my last trip I still learned things I hadn't known before. Construction projects, such as fixing a roof this year, have taught be skills that I simply wouldn't have if I never came to Cedar Creek. Though I am excited for the next stage of my life, I know I will definitely miss the good food, fun, and meaningful work of Cedar Creek." -Joseph Inscoe
"Cedar Creek was (and always is) an environment where we not only learn to engage with people of a different socioeconomic background but also take the time to grow our relationships within our youth group. We tackled large challenges and worked hard together, which forced us to communicate directly (something that our generation could work on). I loved being able to stay in the middle of nowhere because it is the perfect atmosphere to connect with God in a meaningful way." -Sam Owensby
"This was my first year on the Cedar Creek mission trip and while I had minimal experience working construction at home (by minimal I mean I knew how to work a drill and a saw and I knew my way around a few tools) I was placed in the new group with Paul to basically build deck rails the whole week. The first day we ate breakfast and I finally understood why everyone was always talking about the food when they got back, then we went down the road to the little old store across from the church and started tearing things up. We were done with demo by lunch and had two of the bottom deck boards up by the time to go eat. After lunch we got as many more deck boards up as we could before four so all we had to do the next day, after another amazing breakfast, was pickets and Payton and I helped Paul with the stair rail. We finished the railing a little after lunch and moved on to the store
owners house to fix her railing. The people who built the railing at her house had the bottom deck boards flush (a new vocabulary word for me) against the deck of her house making it impossible for her to sweep. All we had to do to her railing was simply lift the boards off of the deck but it took 2 days to do that because of the rain. After we finished lifting the deck rails before lunch on the third day, we moved back to where we were staying to clean windows and move books. Finally, on the last work day both groups met up to spread mulch at an old african american cemetery in the morning and spent the rest of the day either relaxing, watching soccer, going to paint creek, or seeing a movie." -Taylor Job
"This was my first time to cedar creek and it was so fun.
My favorite thing that we did was seeing the finished product and being able to look back at those projects and get to say “ hey I helped build that”. I also loved the food it was really really good. I am definitely going back next year."- Payton Nolley
"My experience at Cedar Creek involved helping out many different people on many different projects all while being with my friends and making priceless memories. I love going to Cedar Creek and this being my last year in youth group I was excited to go but didn’t want it to end. I enjoy getting to hangout with the youth all week and have fun while helping others. From helping sort school supplies to rebuilding a roof and mulching a grave yard, it was another successful and fun mission trip." - Courtney Roquemore
Thank you to everyone who made this trip a huge success! If you are looking for a church family please consider visiting us! We would love to have you!