On our third day of working with SBP and Hope Panhandle in Panama City, we continued our work on our house. We were working to rebuild Claud’s house that was severely damaged in Hurricane Michael eight months before we arrived.

Even with eight months, there was lots of work to be done because Panama City had received less support than other areas involved in natural disasters. But, it was hurt just as bad as others. It was devastating to see majority of the trees along the road into the city had been knocked down. Our job was to put the walls and ceiling up that would be there for as long as the house was intact. This was more challenging than I could ever imagine. There was definitely a pain in spending an hour measuring and preparing a board only to spend another hour adjusting it to fit just right and then 30 more minutes making sure all the screws were in. The work was tiring and it was hotter than anything I’ve ever felt in some areas without ventilation but it was great to be doing it to help the community.

Although hanging and drilling in drywall for three days doesn’t sound exciting or life-changing; however, getting to know the other Student Service Program members and the house owner proved to make the entire experience fun. The best part of the day and trip as a whole was hearing the house owner speak about the impact our work had on him. Knowing that we could allow him to get into his house even a minute sooner was a fantastic feeling. This trip has reminded me the power of even small amounts of service. The last day was the most exhausting but certainly the most rewarding since we were able to see the improvements our team had made in only three days.

– Will Davidson