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I’m glad it rained

09 April


Rain. It’s a remarkable thing. Rain can be an integral part of growth, it can also promote destruction. Rain changes things. It also has an effect on people. I’ve seen rain turn a good mood into a sad one. I’ve seen rain create chaos. I’ve seen it induce laughter.

Last summer I had the opportunity to work with a youth group from one of the churches that supports Hosanna. These kids were amazing. Young. Too young to have been so in tune to what was going on that day. I am still shocked at the level of maturity these kids had.

We had a big day ahead of us. It was one of those shirt-starts-sticking-to-you-before-you-walk-up-the-ladder kind of days. Hot. Humid. Gross. There was a job to be done, a life to be changed, a heart to be mended. We had a big day ahead of us.

The job was a roof tear-off and replacement. The kids, along side myself and my colleagues, literally dug in with the roof rippers and within an hour the first panel was ready for fresh tar paper. The day kept up with a fast pace. After a short training “seminar” these kids were expert shingle setters. We had more than half that roof laid before lunch. Remarkable. Just like the impending rain.

It started, not like some rains that start with a warning sprinkle and gradually amp up to full blown shower. No, not today. This rain was the kind of rain that just starts. Buckets, I think some people say. It poured on us. Brian Hetzer blew the whistle to get everyone off the roof and wait for it to pass. As I stood at the top of the ladder with one of my colleagues to help the kids get down off the roof, I couldn’t help but notice something. Each person, each one of these rain soaked volunteers, had a smile on their face and said to us “thank you” as we helped them onto the ladder. I might think too much about it but times like that can change a person. I might have been so proud to work with those kids that I shed a tear. I’m glad it rained.

We waited in the homeowners garage for the rain to stop. Brian Hetzer kept an eye on the radar and it wasn’t looking good. He dabbled with the idea of coming back the next day to finish up. After all, these dear kids were soaked, probably exhausted and ready to wrap it up for the day and get into some warm clothes. As it would turn out these KIDS, these not older than 17 year old kids wouldn’t have it. They wanted to finish what they started. We decided we would wait until it slowed down a little bit before we finished the roof. We waited and we waited. Some of us started to get a little chilly. It just so happened that we had the materials necessary to make not only functional but fashionable rain gear. Some heavy duty construction garbage bags, duct tape, and a utility knife. We were now ready for action.

The roof was completed. The rain never stopped. Better yet, the rain never stopped these kids from getting it. They caught it. They had it. They had spirit and drive and a sense of commitment. I wish you could’ve been there. I wish you could’ve seen what I saw that day.

We had a big day ahead of us. A job was done, a life was changed, a heart was mended. Rain. It’s a remarkable thing. I’m glad it rained.

-Emily Cadenhead, mission worker

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