Louisiana changed at least one

Courtesy of Ronnie Payne
Courtesy of Ronnie Payne

By NICK VILLALOBOS, Editor in Chief

Spring break showed me many things, whether it be in a spiritual sense or a physical.

On March 11, a group of about 10 college students, the BCM director, Ronnie Payne and I, departed for Louisiana. Our purpose was to be God’s hands and feet as we helped in relief efforts from recent flooding near the New Orleans area.

After a 16 hour drive, which seen numerous stops along the way, we finally arrived at Bedico Baptist Church in Bedico, Louisiana. The church was to be our lodging for the next week while we were on our mission trip.

After exploring our living quarters and getting acquainted with the other college group that will be joining us on the mission trip, we college students became accompanied with the church’s indoor basketball gym and video games.

Then, to cap off the night, both groups gathered in the upstairs youth room and was given the rundown for what we would be experiencing in the coming days. After the rundown, we all just left the room in a bit of a cloud as none of it was real clear, even for the, now, two BCM directors.

We did know this though, we would start working on Monday following a day of exploring New Orleans, and partaking in a prayer walk on the Southeastern Louisiana University campus on Sunday.

When dawn broke on Sunday morning, all of us in the two groups were invited to join the Bedico’s college students Sunday school class and its morning church service [which was totally awesome!] Then from there, we all gathered in our church vans and headed to New Orleans.

Though we had in our mindset that we would all walk around the downtown city area and find a restaurant to eat at, we never actually were given that opportunity because there was no place for parking in that crowded area. So, being the flexible group we were, we decided to try out another part of the New Orleans area for food.

After finishing up our meals at Deanies [or attempting to because it was too much food,] we went back to Bedico, changed clothing and headed to Hammond, Louisiana to do the prayer walk on the Southeastern campus.

Following the prayer walk, we went back to the church and rested up for Monday’s busy work schedule.

When Monday came, we ate breakfast then set out for Mt. Calvary Church to begin our flood relief efforts.

It was messy, smelly and all out rough work to do, but because the work we were doing wasn’t for our own satisfaction, we all loved it. We loved it so much so, that upon completing each the stripping of molded materials from the interior of the church we capped it off with a night of fun, food and games with third church group there doing additional relief efforts as well.

After bonds were made that night within the various church groups, our group and the other one that we were partnered with dove into two more days of full on, hard work. We painted and cleaned up the interior and exterior of a church as well as cleaned up various flood victims yards.

Each morning, we all had sore backs and tired feet, but that’s how we knew what we were doing was good and not for ourselves.

We worked hard until Thursday afternoon, and then we shifted our focus from flood relief efforts to gaining souls for Christ through a campus outreach event at Southeastern. Then to cap off that night, and the mission trip in general, we had one heck of a worship service with the Southeastern BCM group.

Then on Friday, we set course for Northwestern and little ol Alva.

After the returning 16 hour trip, we all had time to reflect on the work we did that week in Louisiana and though I can speak for each of the other members that went, I can say this about myself; that was one heck of a mission trip! From start to finish, it wasn’t for me, but for Him.