Northern New Hampshire UMVIM
District Mission Trip to Salem, Maine
June 23-29, 2002

By Joan M. McGlauflin

Planning began for the 2002 district mission trip on the last day of our 2001 trip. We left a deposit of $100 with Pastor Kay, the Executive Director, United Methodist Economic Ministry (UMEM), and reserved the same week for 2002. 

The months rolled by and as February approached we realized that we had to get the ball rolling on formation of our 2nd annual District mission trip. Howard and I were in touch with our DS, who named us co-team leaders, and with members of the 2001 team. 

John Loker agreed to be the registrar, and the word went out to the District. As we prepared to leave on our "Spring Break," we knew that John had everything under control and we would again be returning to the UMEM in Salem, Maine.

Upon our return from vacation, we placed calls, sent e-mails and set up a team meeting at Wanakee on June 1st. Attending were eight adults. Orientation went well, forms were filled out, and sign-up done for clean-up work in the kitchen area and for daily devotions. 

On June 13th we traveled to Concord for an orientation meeting with eight youth, two adult advisors, and parents. More forms were filled out, we briefed them on the mission and the location, and they also signed up for clean-up work and devotions. The team was formed and had 10 adults and 10 young adults.

Pastor Katherine and I would be the cooks. Howard took us shopping for this team of 20 that would be working at the different sites near the ministry. At times we had difficulty working around special requests at mealtime, but I believe no one went away hungry. We arrived at the ministry late afternoon on Sunday and begun to unpack the van full of food and tools. 

The group from Tuftonboro arrived to help put away the food, and then went to set up the cottage where the six youth (girls) and four women would be sleeping. Howard arranged the bunkhouse where four youth (boys) and four men would be staying. Since Katherine and I were the cooks, we got to stay in the "apartment" - that is to say, the combination dining hall/kitchen/bath & shower rooms/bedroom. It was fun at times to direct the traffic flow into the showers, since there were only two showers to be shared by all. 

Our first meal that evening was to make your own sandwiches and was a time to get acquainted with the whole team. Monday morning after breakfast and clean up was devotions, led each day by different team members. We prepared the lunches to be delivered to one site and everyone joined us there, all meals were served together as a team, except for breakfast as everyone was awake at different times so it was help your self, supper meals were served at the ministry.

We then had our work assignments and went into the community. There were three different sites with an adult advisor always going with each group. One group painted a trailer roof (seal-coat) and did minor repairs, another group started adding a room to a trailer, and the third group rebuilt steps and reinforced a railing on an entrance and painted it. While Katherine talked with the homeowner and was shown her beautiful gardens and flowers, two youth mowed the lawn and three other youth stacked two cords of firewood. 

On Wednesday there was a cookout for the community and we were able to invite the homeowners that we were working with. Rain, thunder, lightening and wind shortened the event, but everyone had a good time. Thursday was our night to go into Strong to visit the local ice cream stand, and of course we wanted to sample "moose tracks" ice cream.

The biggest challenge was the room addition on the trailer. Since the original design was changed several times, with the finished product the vision the homeowner had in his head was completed. All projects assigned to us were completed plus some other projects we took on as we saw them. Some of us on a return trip to the ministry from the work site got to see a baby moose.

The quiet evenings were spent in conversations (no TV up here), mostly on the day's work, exchanged by the different groups. Board games were played which included chess, monopoly, cribbage and a game called "Chairs". Some of the youth were outside at the picnic tables. 

After our dinner meal on Friday we went to the Salem UMC where Pastor Kay and our DS, Jan, prepared a worship service with communion. We were all encouraged to share "where we saw God, during the week". The team voted to give a $100 gift to the UMEM for their scholarship program and also a deposit for next year. Howard and I gave out certificates of appreciation to all participants. Rev. Yoo Cha Yi, pastor of the Salem Church, dismissed us with her benediction. We all returned to the ministry for root beer floats. The Concord participants left that evening. The rest of us left after breakfast Saturday morning.

(July 8, 2002)

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