TOP FIVE TUESDAY — Top Five Reflections From A Carolina Cross Connection Trip

TOP FIVE TUESDAY — Top Five Reflections From A Carolina Cross Connection Inc. Student Mission Trip

I spent last week at Camp Loy White in rural Cleveland County, NC as part of a Good Shepherd Church Student Mission Team who in turn joined the larger Carolina Cross Connection Project.


The mission of CCC is to forge Christian community while empowering students to make a difference in the lives of under-resourced people through ministries of home repair, yard work, and spiritual comfort. This was my NINTH CCC week — seven while at Mt. Carmel Church in Monroe and now the last two years at Good Shepherd.

Here are my top five reflections:

1. I REMAIN INEPT WITH TOOLS. The phrase, “Talbot, come to my toolshed and let me show you some things,” NEVER came out of my father’s mouth. Not once. I have inherited his lack of ability for all things mechanical. Fortunately, my work crew had a few people who could compensate for my lack.

2. I GOT YARDWORK DOWN, THOUGH. I breathed an enormous sigh of relief each time our daily assignment included mowing, weedeating, and raking. Although the heat was brutal, that work was do-able.

3. THE GENIUS OF CCC IS MAKING ONE LARGE GROUP OUT OF MANY SMALLER ONES. Good Shepherd was one of four different student groups at Loy White. On Sunday night, we eyed each other warily, wondering who was who and what was up. By Friday night, the defenses were gone, relationships had formed, and we were now ONE. I even noticed a cross-youth group romance or two.

4. MY COMPETITIVE INSTINCTS ARE NEVER FAR FROM THE SURFACE. On Thursday night, we had a volleyball tournament. Why did I want my team to win so badly? IT’S JUST VOLLEYBALL AND IT’S ON A STUDENT MISSION TRIP!!! There is no rational explanation for how hard I tried and how desperately I wanted us to win. So there.

5. NOSTALGIA IS REAL. My very first CCC trip, in 1992, was also at Loy White. Throughout the week, my mind kept drifting back 25 years to those Mt. Carmel students who BECAME CHRISTIANS by the campfire, to those then-CCC staffers who must now be in their mid 40s, and to the ways God has continually used this week “away” to refresh and renew my own soul.