I mentioned before that James was out of town for most of last week. I didn't talk about where he was for fear of another flood of tears, and I tried to keep it to a minimum.
For the past 7 years, James and I have been involved in a mission trip with our church, Stony Point. We travel with a team to Fairmont, Wv and are paired up with a host family. This family is usually a widowed lady, and may include her children, grandchildren, or other family members. We do either minor repairs on her home, construction projects, or aesthetic improvements to make her life a little easier and manageable.
The construction isn't the "main thing," as we always say. The main thing is the people. The people of Fairmont, the other teams who have traveled from all over the country to be paired with other families, the people on our own team. But mainly the people of Fairmont. The work we do is really just the avenue we use to allow us to spend time with these people, love them, and restore some hope to their lives.
Living in poverty in the hills of West Virginia is a hard life. You see the despondency and lifelessness in the eyes of the people. By the end of our week, it's worth all the work to see a faint glimmer of hope begin to return to their eyes.
The team from Stony Point has varied from 30-50 people. The third year of the trip was mine and James' second year attending, but first year attending together. I won't go into detail now about how we first started dating and all that stuff, maybe some other time. There are all kind of crazy happenings and "coincedences" that make up our story, and it all began that year in Fairmont, building a roof on a widow's home. We've been every year since then, and were the leaders of the trip the past 2 years.
When the planning began for this year's trip, we knew we couldn't sign up to go, and definitely couldn't lead again, with all the planning it's taking to get to Scotland. But we both wanted to be there.
Time came for the trip, and I couldn't get off of work. James quit his job a month ago to do the hundreds of jobs that need to get done, and be supported by his sugar momma. Just because I couldn't go, I couldn't hold James back from having a great time. But it didn't make it easier to see him go, knowing I would still be here. I cried a bunch. Especially when I talked to people on the trip and heard the amazing stories about what was happening. It was hard. Fairmont holds a big place in my heart.
But! There's a reason for everything. I don't know why I couldn't be there, but at least it was only because we're planning a much longer trip to a far-away place.