A Lifelong Memory: My Centralia Pillow | Teen Ink

A Lifelong Memory: My Centralia Pillow

October 1, 2013
By OakwoodCat GOLD, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
OakwoodCat GOLD, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
16 articles 0 photos 20 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
― C.S. Lewis

One thing I got the summer of 2012 is a small pillow. It’s from a missions trip my church went on. We were split into separate crews with middle schoolers from around the country to paint and build various things, such as decks, new steps that needed replaced, or wheelchair ramps for needy residents of Centralia. We stayed at a local high school, sleeping with sleeping bags in classrooms. The school was glad to welcome us, amazed at our willingness and servant hearts. You always knew that if you needed help, someone would be right there to help you, or encourage you. The pillow was a really nice memory to bring home, and it reminds me of an unforgettable experience.

The camp was a unique and fun experience, unlike anything I had ever done. Every morning we would have devotions before driving off to our work sites. At our work sites, every day at lunch, we had sandwiches and talked together. It was a nice time to get to know the people we were serving, while taking a small break. Every day, at lunch time, the grandma living in the home would have some dessert ready for us, brownies, pie, or cookies. She was gone at work whenever we were there, but on Friday, we were in for a special treat. On Friday, the girls of my crew and I dusted, swept, and cleaned inside their home, while the boys finished the porch. She came home that day, with her granddaughter, and we all got to meet the amazing woman who had made us treats every day that week. It was such an amazing and different week from any other that summer.

What I remember most about the pillow was who made it. It was made by some women at a local church who really appreciated what we were doing. I was really touched by the time and effort it took them. There were tons of pillows prepared, each sewn with creative designs. Each one had nine quilt squares on the front, with TONS of different designs. Some had zebra prints, musical notes, neon colors, Charlie Brown, flowers, cats and dogs, and many many more. My pillow had squares with cheetah print on it. On the middle square, It said: Group Workcamp Centralia, Illinois July 22-28, 2012. Those ladies have made much more than a pillow; they helped me take homea memory that I will remember forever.

This trip was important, both for the youth groups from around the country, and the needy people we were helping. Practical service, going and repairing, painting and building things for people in need is a specific type of service that is very meaningful. Money donations are important too, but there is something about teens giving a whole week of their summer up for these people that was really special.Everyone had amazing attitudes, never complaining, always willing to do anything that would help someone. My crew was amazing, and we all bonded and learned a lot about God and each other. This was such an amazing week, and important to both us, and the people we were serving.

I was so glad I could go and see God helping the people of Centralia through all the teens there, and I’ll always be thankful for the ladies who stitched a gift for me. Everytime I go to sleep on it, I remember a extraordinary week filled with amazing God sightings. I will never forget that week, or the pillow, as it brought me closer to God, and can’t wait to go back again next year.

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