In 2003 our intern for the year, Jackie Ryan Bussey, coordinated a mission trip that was a prerequisite for her graduation from the Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia. Every year since, we have continued this outreach. Coordinated through Rural Mission Inc we head to Charleston, South Carolina to provide assistance to the people of the Sea Islands, descendants of the Gullah people.
We raise funds throughout the year to finance this ministry. Similar to Habitat for Humanity, our purpose is to make necessary housing repairs that the homeowner (senior citizens) cannot physically, or financially, complete. Our work runs the gamut, painting to roofing to plumbing. As Rural Mission is a local sea island entity resources are limited, so we provide our own tools as well to accomplish these repairs. We are housed for the week in a local church (we use air mattresses-it’s NOT the Ritz) to which we make a donation. We also hire a local resident to cook as well as do the food shopping (we pay for the food). Our group usually has 10-15 participants varying in age, as well as skills.
By removing ourselves from the daily routine of our lives, we can more closely experience the surroundings of those we are helping. This venture provides us the opportunity to serve outside our local area and show God’s love in action.