By Gabby Christensen
More than a year and a half after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas as a category 4 hurricane, locals throughout the area continue to pick up the pieces of their community and rebuild their homes.
This wouldn’t be possible, though, without help from people like Connie Rankin and Pastor Becky Beckmann of Newman Grove who recently set out on a mission trip through the non-profit organization, Rebuilding Together Houston.
Rankin and Beckmann were two of 29 volunteers who took part in the mission trip hosted by Nebraska Synod ELCA.
This wasn’t their first mission trip, though.
In fact, this trip marks their 10th consecutive trip with Nebraska Synod.
During the trip, the group was housed at the Gano Mission of Houston administrative building.
Volunteers sealed the envelope of the home, according to Rankin, in which they scraped, caulked, and painted exterior walls; repaired siding and fascia; and secured doors and windows.
“Our group was divided into two smaller groups and worked at two different work sites,” Rankin said. “Unfortunately, the last day and a half were too wet and rainy to finish painting the houses. However, they pulled off two smaller groups who were sent to three homes to replace ceiling fans and air conditioners. The remainder of us were sent to the ‘Tool Bank’ at the warehouse, where all building supplies and materials were kept, to organize and restock returned materials. Also some helped pull supplies for new crews to pick up.”
Through telling her story, Rankin said she hopes others become inspired to take part in missionary work, as well.
“It’s a feeling like no other,” Rankin said. “Until you’ve experienced it yourself, you won’t know just how life changing a mission trip can be.”
As it turns out, Rankin said she always receives much more than she gives during mission trips.
“The blessings we receive from meeting the people and hearing their stories is far greater than any service we give on the trips,” Rankin said. “The amazing people you come in contact with are truly inspiring and faithful and it makes you want to continue to serve and help others as much as possible.”
By Gabby Christensen