Eight Days of Hope!! by Jessica Barrett

There are many people that have heard about an organization called Eight Days of Hope, but a lot of people don’t know the hard work and dedication it takes to serve in this type of ministry.  8DOH is a Christian, non-profit organization that helps families all across the country when disasters hit.

I attend church with Steve Tybor, the co-founder of this organization, so my church, First Baptist Tupelo, is very involved in the trips they take.  I had an awesome opportunity to travel to Houston, Texas with a small group from my church to help Hurricane Harvey victims.

We got to Houston super late at night so we just got there and went to sleep.  We stayed at Grace Community Church in Houston on air mattresses in an upstairs hallway.  Most people who know me, know that this was WAY out of my comfort zone.  Little did I know how tired I would be at the end of each day, so I was just happy to have a spot to sleep!

Every day we went to a woman’s house but she was always at work when we were there, so her daughter would come and be there with us.  She was just a few years older than me so we became good friends.  After speaking to her for a while, she told me that her sister’s husband passed away right before the hurricane, leaving behind his wife and three little girls.  It was hard for them to deal with that horrible loss plus everything to do with the storm.

The house was in horrible condition but we were able to take out sheetrock and do other things that helped get rid of the mold and other dangerous things.  We also were able to purchase other home amenities that the family did not have beforehand out of our pockets.  Some of these things included kitchen and bathroom vanities and bed sheets and comforters that they did not have.  

The hardest part of this trip was the heat.  We worked all day in scorching heat with no air conditioning. This means when everyone got back from their job sites, we all raced to the showers.  We used a shower trailer outside and there were seven shower rooms for hundreds of volunteers so you can imagine the struggle we went through everyday!

It really blew my mind how this mother has been living in these conditions since the flood.  It amazes me that I went on this trip expecting to do what I love, help people, but I got so much out of this trip, too.  It was a lifechanging experience that I am so grateful for.

Being shy and reserved, forming relationships is hard sometimes, but on this trip I made so many friends from all over the country and it was so hard to leave them.  8DOH plans to go back to Houston in early 2018 to begin the rebuild process and we would love for you to join us! Just click the link below and I hope to see you there!

http://www.eightdaysofhope.com/

My group from FBC Tupleo and our new friend Keilie, whose house we worked on, in the middle. She came to eat dinner with us at Grace Church!

Where the women volunteers stayed. This was huge upstairs hallway that looped around the entire church, and it was filled with air mattresses haha!

 

Taking debris out of the house we worked in one day

Our church crew sat down in the foyer of the church and regrouped and shared stories after our long day of work.

Getting ready to cut on the chalk lines we made to take off the sheetrock with this saw

All of the volunteers getting ready to eat breakfast

A great group of volunteers that started playing music together and singing. This was one of my favorite things about this trip was how close everyone became

On the bus going to our job sites before we were hot and sweaty!!

My new friend Keilie, whose house we worked on

In the middle of working on a house before the cleanup

We made a quick stop at DQ to cool off before heading back to the church

A beautiful morning as volunteers get ready to head off to work for the day

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