My name is David Goodwin and I’m a junior at the University Central Arkansas and part of the Wesley Foundation at UCA. When I saw that a college trip was going to be in Joplin this year, I knew I had to go. I previously went to New Orleans 2 years ago and knew something was going to be different about this trip. I remember the devastation I saw in the news in late May of 2011. When all 35 of us from 4 different Wesley Foundations drove into Joplin that Monday night, my heart melted. My only thought that came up when I saw the destruction of a town of 50,000 was “Wow.” There was not anything I could say but “Wow.”
Our theme of the week to think about was rebuilding the church in a town that has had some hardships and how we can grow ourselves in dark/terrible times. I worked a wide scale of projects that week such as deconstructing a house, replacing a water line for a family who was not affected by the storm, putting a sub floor at Saint Paul United Methodist Church in Joplin and meeting the lady who owned the house we were tearing down. She was an amazing woman who had a warm heart and a bright spirit. She made my week by continuing what I do and that’s spreading the light to those who maybe have not seen the light. We had daily worship every night in the sanctuary at church we were staying at. On Saturday morning for our last worship, we sang the song Beautiful Things by Gungor. This song described what we were doing in Joplin that week. We were making new things better for the town of Joplin. As the song lyric goes “You make beautiful things,You make beautiful things out of dust.You make beautiful things,You make beautiful things out of us.” I truly believe we made new things for people and God makes us new every day.
I close with my personal quote, “doing the smallest things can make the biggest difference in someone’s life.”