Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mr. Peddicord's Final Thoughts

We had a wonderful week at the South Carolina Rural Mission. Once again our students stepped outside their comfort zone and showed what they are made of. They left family and friends and spent their entire Easter break helping and supporting others. Sunday night before we started our work week, I spoke to the entire group and reviewed the upcoming projects. We discussed working safely and working as a team. I am extremely impressed with the attention to detail each of the students provided on the job sites and the amount of work they accomplished.

To the parents – thank you for allowing your son to accompany us on this trip. It was awesome to see them pour themselves into their projects. Your sons made us proud. The Director of the Mission spoke to me Wednesday night and told me she is very impressed with the MSJ students work ethics. She went on to say they have hundreds of students pass through the Mission each year and the MSJ students take the lead with their politeness and professionalism. She asked I be sure to pass on to you what a pleasure it was for her and her staff to host MSJ students for a week.

Sarah- thank you for a wonderful job coordinating the whole week. You thought of everything ! Once again, a great experience I am honored to be a part of.

Ann - we are a great team. Thank you for all the support in getting the job done. Have a blast planning for the wedding. Remember, I want to see the pictures !

David – glad we were able to keep the chess games going. Not to happy that you won so many. All joking aside, thank you for all the support and guidance this past week. Always a pleasure working with you. We must have been brothers in a past life.

Ryan L., Jason, Fernando, Bennett, Evan – you guys rock ! You should be very pleased with what you accomplished this week. Each of you did a great job with the evening devotions on the Xaverian charisms. All of you were very supportive to the underclassmen on a daily basis. Yes, even with the fun stuff. I am glad we all have this trip to remember and reflect on. I am so happy to have the chance to work with each of you. As seniors you will find the rest of this school will fly by fast. The past four years of hard work has paid off and graduation will be here before you know it. Enjoy each and every moment. After graduation, please remember us at the Mount and stop by and visit us often and let us know how you are doing.

Parker, Ryan C., Ryan S., Owen, Dale, Josh, Matt, Luke, Dan C., Neal, Tom, Corey,

Nick, Miles, Mike, Dan S. - What a great team ! I know you are all tried after a hard week. I want to thank each and every one of you for your efforts this past week. And THANK YOU for working safely. I know each of the job sites were a little different. Some required painting, some required moving furniture and sorting belongings, some required digging a foundation. But no matter what site you worked on each of you gave it your all and showed your support for the local residents in many ways. I was so impressed with each of you for the kindness you showed the children at Ms. Nellie’s home. Those children will always remember your smiling faces and the fun times they spent with each of you. You touched each of them in a special way. Ms. Nellie was overwhelmed by your kindness and hard work. She especially loved that all of you came out to her home on the last day to see her new floor. She told me she will always remember each of you and (her words) “your smiling faces as you worked”. Thanks guys for a great week ! I

As it says on our new tee shirts, “ Without cost you have received; Without cost you are to give.”


Mr. Peddicord

MSJ Director of Facilities

Class of ‘72

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ms. S #2 has something to say...

As I sit here reflecting on this past week I am reminded of last years trip and how, despite the long days and nights, I was eager to return when asked. My instincts did not fail me. This trip, although different from last years, was a success. I enjoyed watching the young men meet, form bonds, play, work, and worship. Although out of their comfort zone, these boys rose above challenges, both on the work site and off, and were able to provide quality service to those truly in need.

To the parents: Thank you for allowing us to borrow your children!! This exceptional group of young men showed that they are indeed "workers who are worth their keep". It was my pleasure to watch them grow as groups and individuals. Seeing young men who care for others and are willing to give of themselves is a treasure!

Sarah (Ms S #1), Dave, and Dan: We are awesome. Seriously.

Ryan L, Evan, Bennett, Jason, and Fernando: You too are awesome. You showed me that there are still young people out there who care for others. You taught me that patience is indeed a virtue, but humor is a necessity. You led our group with confidence in yourselves and a cool maturity that the others look up to. Best of luck to you all in taking your next steps into the world, you are ready... I just hope the world is ready for you!

Mike, Tommy, Dan C, Dan S, Ryan S, Ryan C, Josh, Neil, Corey, Owen, Miles, Parker, Matt, Nick, Luke, and Dale: The awesomeness just continues! You all are my heroes (despite the fact that I never got to see the line dance I was promised). You came on this adventure not knowing what to expect, and learned to expect the unexpected. Despite any confusion you all poured your hearts into any task at hand, be it painting, flooring, picking up garbage, or playing with kids in need of attention. I feel that during the long ride home tomorrow there will be lots of sleeping AND quiet reflection about our week here at Rural Mission. I want to thank you all for teaching me, entertaining me, and showing me the type of men you are. Now we return you back to your families stronger men for taking this journey with us (despite the bumps, scrapes, boo-boo's, stitches, and owee's). Take care all of you!

"Not all who wander are lost"

Ms. Slingluff #2

Rural Mission Trip

This week was amazing. The food was good. The work was hard but successful. I had a lot of fun. The games were interesting. I loved this trip!

Dan Cunningham (DHD)
This week at Rural Mission was incredibly fun. I had the time of my life. My name is Ryan Lakis. I was here last year, but this year I am a senior leader. This week I started working at a home of nine children. They were taken care of their grandmother because their parents were too young to take care of them. Our group started taking out furniture and removing the carpet. The next day, came back and helped cutting floor boards and replacing the outside window trim. The third day, I helped complete the house. It was a lot of fun. While I was working, I played with the kids that lived there. They were so much fun; we played football and ran around playing tag. They were the most energetic kids I have ever met. The last day, I went to another house and painted the ceiling of a woman's patio. It did not take long, so the four of us went to the famous Charleston Tea Plantation where they make American Classic Tea. We walked through a tour and I learned a lot. We then visited the Shrimp Pier and saw the workers move fish that were at least one hundred fifty pounds. The last place we visited was the Angel Oak. It was a fenced in area with a tree about 200 years old. This trip was a lot more exciting than last year. We had a lot more people that I become friends with and had a great time playing during our free time. Most of the time we played tag and capture the flag and had the best time ever. I am going to leave with a lot more confidence. I really enjoyed being a senior leader. Having to lead other kids and teaching them the ways of construction was very fun. I wish I could do this again.
Today, I finally was sent to the house we were working on. I had been painting fences, boards, and other things with Mr. Dutrow for the past few days. When i got to the house i was amazed at just how small it was because i knew just how many people lived there. Then when we got closer all the kids came flooding out, so those of us with down time spent it playing with them. Man their little balls of energy flying everywhere. we worked on finishing the flooring in the hall way. The hardest parts were the last to pieces because they went under a pair of doorways each and they wouldn't fit no matter how many times we cut them at odd angles. At the end are entire group came and we took a group picture including all the kids and Mrs. Nelly, the grandmother and owner of the house, thanked us for all we did. This adventure i will remember for a long, long time.

Michael Morris

Another Day of Service and Fun

Today, eight of us traveled to a house with nine kids and three adults. It was a rewarding experience and something we, or I will never forget. There, at the house, we installed new brown floors and painting all the walls, a shiny and glossy white color. It was a lot of work and sweat, and involved enormous sacrifice, but the looks on the kids faces and the drastic change that took place, will be a long lasting memory that we will never forget. I enjoyed working with Mr. Peddicord and Ms. Slingluff #2;they were great supporters and amazing fun. I enjoyed the week here and would definitely come back next year! Thanks Ms. Slingluff and Mount Saint Joe for this great opportunity.

Corey Kennedy

Rural Mission 2010 -- Day 6

This trip turned out a lot different from what I expected. The first two days were the "rest & prepare" days of the trip, but when it got to the first day of working, it was the worst day because we had to move furniture, clothes, electronics, and we had to weed the entire yard. It was some hard work, and the bugs didn't help one bit, we got bit, some of the kids were getting sunburns all over their arms and necks. The upside of the day was getting to know the kids and the family that live in the house. The next couple of days of working were not as hard as the first because we got used to the work site. In the end, the kids made friends with us and enjoyed our company. You really get to know the kids that are in the cabin with you, you'll find some interesting stuff about the kids, but that's a cabin secret. The food was also great.

-Neal Hayes

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Rural Mission 2010 Day Five

Greetings all!

As we near the end of our week here, a few reflections from our time here in South Carolina . . . Sunday: we learned that the average teenage boy can indeed survive five straight hours of church- and might even enjoy it! The Gullah-Methodist Service was quite popular amongst the boys- the music was incredible and lively and we all agreed that an hour and forty five minutes flew by . . . Monday we were all at one site (Ms. Nellie's)- it's amazing how much work can be accomplished with 21 boys- we cleaned trash from the yard, weeded, sorted clothes, pulled up carpet . . . so much so that the rest of the week we have been assigned to multiple sites. Tuesday our group split into two groups- one stayed with Ms. Nellie, the other group worked at the local church on painting jobs. The highlight of Tuesday was the Seafood Jamboree- the Gullah prayer warriors sang and prayed with us and then the band took over. We met another group that is working down here- and had a sing off . . Corey, Fernando, and Miles sang (and played) a beautiful rendition of "His Eye is on the Sparrow." Today we split into three groups- Ms. Nellie, one group stayed here at the mission to help paint some of the buildings, and the final group that I worked with went to Ms. Gaither's house to help dig footers for a foundation for her new house. As always, the boys are making impressions on those they meet. I can't tell you how many times I have heard compliments about how well behaved and thoughtful our young men are. Keep us in your prayers as we head into the final stretch!

-Sarah Slingluff

Rural Mission 2010 -- Day 5

i feel like this year on the rural missions trip i have broadened my range of service. last year i was on the same sit every day. So far this year I have been on a different site every single day. the first day i was on the original site, Ms.Gathers house. her house was in pretty bad shape so the first day we just cleaned out her living room and painted the walls. the second day i was at the local methodist church. They needed an office and a playground pavilion to be painted. we all got the paintiong done in a couple hours, the only thingthat wasnt fun about this day was cleaning up all the messy paint. today i was stationed at a site where we helped dig a foundation of a house.

-evan hossick

Rural Mission 2010 -- Day 5

Hello everyone. South Carolina is pretty cool. The food is good. At this point the bugs have eaten me alive, but it's all good. At catholic church there were a lot of pretty girls, more so than Maryland. I'm having hella fun with my bros, and getting a lot of work done. Today me and Dale (Woody Harrelson look-alike) installed the entire wooden floors in the kids room and in the family room. We basically hossed that project. Anyways the lady was extremely happy and the kids were all filled with joy. We are doing some really good things for people and that's all that matters. Peace.

Ryan Sherman

Rural Mission 2010 -- Day 5

Today was the first day I went to somewhere other than Mrs. Nelly's House. I went to Mrs . Gaithers house which is falling apart, and we are working to build a new house right in front of her old one. We spent most of the day digging a trench, 18 inches deep, 2 feet wide, and 40 feet long. I learned how to use a circular saw and cut wooden steaks 3 feet long.

Luke Councell

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rural Mission 2010 -- Day Four

Hello everyone!

Four days in and things are really coming together. Many students are really rising to the challenges they are facing. We've worked at two sites already. At Ms. Nellie's home, we're working on creating a better home environment for Ms. Nellie and nine family members. We are painting, cleaning, patching holes in walls, and installing flooring. The young children there are absolutely adorable! At work site #2, the Methodist church where we attended our sunrise service Easter morning, we painted an office and an outdoor pavilion area. Dale Clemons, Parker Bell, and Bennett Wolfe, especially, have been amazing workers at their respective sites, going above and beyond the calls of duty. Now that everyone has some experience, we think the next two days are going to produce some incredible results.

I want to give a shout out to the Motorious M.E.C. Hope you're well!

David Dutrow

Rural Mission 2010 -- Day Four

I am having a very great time at rural misson's this year. This is my sceond year here and I am Senior Leader. I am also doing a video documentry of our time and our work here in South Carolina. I like being a camera man. I am aslo enjoying the work that i am doing, and I am enjoying the painting that I doing. The food here is great, and everyone here is friendly, which makes my job as a senior leader fun. I enjoyed leading my devotion on trust, and I felt I made somewhat if an impact on some of the underclassman here.


how i spent my birthday and Easter
On Sunday it was Easter and my birthday and i told everyone that it was my birthday. Later that night they said happy birthday to me and gave me a gift which was a 20 dollar best buy card. They also made a cake for me. Also on Sunday they made Easter baskets for everyone and they hid them so that we could find them.

Josh Clemons

Rural Mission 2010 -- Day Four

My thoughts on these past days were pretty awesome. I love how everyone can cooperate and feel compassion in what they are doing. While helping the family and fixing up the church, I feel that what i am doing is very good. But now that i realize this, I notice that I have to show the same compassion and friendship towards everything that I do either by myself or with others. No matter what task it is, either cleaning up my room at home, or helping paint a house, I know I have to follow instructions and get the job done. Looking at these faces of the people that MSJ is helping, I realize that they don't have everything that we have, and also that I need to keep giving some things of my own to the less fortunate because they do need help, and that is what we are doing here this week. I am very grateful for this chance to go on this trip, and i love helping people, especially when it is fun things like building and painting. So far, i LOVE this trip.

Ryan Childres

Monday, April 5, 2010


Today was a very very very very very hot day. I loved it. I got a little red but that's okay. Today we went to our first work site and I held the night time devotion. Our devotion was a very powerful moving session. We reviewed today what we saw at our work site. For example the facts of reality we face and what we have to live with out. I had the mission group do a serious of questions that dealt for reasons why we were here and who we are working with and for. I also had a talk with the whole mission team of feelings of what the family has to go through every day and how lucky we are that we don't have to go through all those feelings. I think that all of us have a view and now understand the progress we have to make in order to get all our work done and to complete our project. I am excited for the days to come and for the devotions from all the senior leaders. Hope you all have fun reading this and have a great day at work just like us all. :)
Thank you, Senior Leader Fernando Melnychenko.
hey there watz up. well we went to the house today and we met Mrs. Nelly and her nine children. When we went into the house we saw that there where holes in the wall covered up with towels. Furthermore, I got my practice in weeding outside for about four hours. The amount of work needed on the house was astounding but it was explained that Mrs. Nelly was a grandmother of kids who had more kids and they all stayed in the house. We also got to have fun with the kids and we where playing around in the house, and played alittle foot bal with an eight year old boy.

-Dale Clemons

Rural Mission 2010 -- Day Three

I used the weedwacker and Mr.Dutrow, I and some other boys pulled weeds out and the group set up an assembly line.

Nick Leuba

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Rural Mission Year Two

Today was fun to see different styles of religion. I think that the Gullah people have a very grounded faith- more real. The people in the church were more involved and it was a very happy service- they were happy that Christ is risen. It was an interesting contrast to the Catholic High mass. After church we went to the beach- it was fun- and I got sunscreen all over my pants. Our devotion tonight was Trust.

Bennett Wolfe
The last 2 days here have been a little dull at times, like spending 4-5 hours at church or a 12 hour bus ride down here. But the people have been really welcoming considering I'm from a different school than everyone else. But the activities here have been really fun like playing cops and robbers. I know that sounds kiddish but we need things to. I cant wait to start building.

Matt Colwill

Today was an early, but enjoyable day. We woke up, went to two masses, and enjoyed the rest of the day. We're all looking forward to start working tomorrow. We will get a really good chance to help out a family in need.

Parker Bell
Today was an okay day. I was very thankful that we got to go spend more time with the lord in church. I'm having so much fun, and I am meeting a lot of new people. Everyone has to go to bed tonight a little earlier, because we have a big day ahead of us. Love you Mom, Dad and family.

Owen Chisley

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Rural Mission 2010 -- Day One

Hi folks! We had a nice, uneventful bus ride down. It took about 10 hours with a couple pit stops along the way. We got everything unloaded and put away in our cabins, had a nice dinner prepared by Viola and Bern, and ended the night with devotions, including a terrific round of a name game. Lots of pictures below, courtesy of Anne Slingluff. Have a terrific Easter everyone!!!