2016-1_LT-GodRooftop

Glorify/Life Teen Community

I Found God on a Rooftop

I am blessed. I have had many opportunities in my life to serve the Body of Christ. I have been on mission trips to Chicago, Baltimore, North Carolina, and Buffalo. This past summer I was able to travel with a mission team on a trip to Higuey in the Dominican Republic. I was so eager to go. As soon as school let out for summer I began packing and my countdown was set. Finally, I was awake at 3:30 in the morning on my way to the airport, on a plane, and was greeted by the warm, tropical air.

I did not know what to expect. In my other mission trip experiences I have cleaned a rectory, restacked stones for a nonprofit warehouse, conducted a clothing distribution for the poor, and installed ceiling tiles. When someone says they are going on a mission trip to a third world country, I usually think building houses, and then I was informed we were going to primarily be painting and other beautification jobs. Painting? Why not something that would really change a life like digging a well for fresh water or digging a foundation for a house. If I wanted to paint I could’ve done that at home. In fact I had done it in Buffalo. Nevertheless I grabbed a brush and began to paint house number 39 a pastel pink color. We finished the first house in about an hour and a half and even took a group picture in front because we were so proud of our work. Then they showed us the rest of the houses that needed to be painted. With a heavy sigh in the hot Dominican sun we continued to paint.

That night when I went to bed I felt unaccomplished. Sure, I had painted three houses that day and worked on some other small projects, but I did not see how my actions were truly “changing lives” as they said I was. A few days later in the week when we had finished most of the painting, teams for other odd jobs were formed. I was put on roof duty one afternoon. Roof duty meant we filled (paint) buckets up with water and a bit of soap and carried them up ladders and onto the roof where it was poured down sections while people simultaneously scrubbed the grime off. I am not a huge fan of heights, so I was mainly on filling-up-the-bucket duty. Again I felt that what we were doing had no purpose. You can’t even barely see the grime on the roof from the ground. The girls on the roof asked for a break, so I agreed to switch for a while.

I climbed the ladder and carefully crawled up the roof of the village school. I was trying to keep my cool, being up really high. One of the girls told me, “before we start again, take a moment to look around, you can see the whole city from up here.” She was right. I could see the mountains in the distance, the fields, the city, and all the houses, and it was beautiful. I had never experienced the glory of God’s creation like I had from that roof. I didn’t have a camera or anything to capture the beauty. All I had was my memory, and I placed it in there for my own safe keeping. In that moment, taking in the splendor and magnificence, I felt God whisper in my ear “thank you.” I was able to see the village we were working in, and noticed the smiles and pride the villagers now had from the fresh coat of paint It was something so small that I had done for them. I have painted my own room before, but never realized what an impact it actually has. After that moment, I got right to work and scrubbed the roof with a different drive and ambition than I had previously. I knew that what I was doing was making a difference. My small actions, painting, scrubbing, were all being used to glorify God.

Don’t think that the small things that you do each day go unnoticed. Each pencil you pick up, door you hold open, and smile you offer are can all be used to glorify God. You never know what or where God will reveal his glory and splendor to you. If it is on a roof like me, please be careful not to fall off.

About the Author

Caroline Shell

Die hard Cleveland sports fan, which means that one of my mottos is, there is always next year. I am a freshman Theology major at Walsh University. I love to color and read Jane Austen. Cooking is one of my passions, and my friends love me for it. I have been known to get really excited (like almost cry) when I see pictures of Pope Francis. I am an aspiring saint, but currently a sinner trying my best to live my faith out joyfully and authentically. I would love to be trusted with your prayers! Tweet me @cshell3297