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Everyone knew this was the last workday so emotions were mixed & energy ran high.  Each team continued on their home with renewed determination to get the most done today, if not complete the home they had started.  Team 1 slaved at their home and got to watch the blocks close to the top being set.  Team 2 worked themselves out of a job since their holes were dug.  Team 3 painted the interior of the house a beautiful blue.

At lunch, Steve’s team from Michigan joined us at the community center.  We had a festival of sorts.  Steve made his balloon animals & I printed photos of kids present.  Habitat held a ceremony to give us diplomas; we sang five songs to & with the kids.  It was a heart-wrenching good-bye to all the people throughout the week we had come to know & love.

I had read before we went that “most of us are accustomed to working for a reward.  We get paid for a completed job, and there’s a bonus when our efforts exceed expectation.”  For the most of us we had no idea how & what we would work with.  Even with no money paid for a job well done, the rewards we realized after this week far exceeded what we thought we would feel.  Everyone agreed we were a wonderful group—working together and interacting nicely with the kids & adults alike.  We saw great attitudes amongst the people we were working with.  We felt safe & loved by these people, our brothers & sisters.

—Bernita Edelman, Thrivent volunteer


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