We were the smallest trip of the summer. We had a total of 16 people representing 6 different branches. Many of us knew each some knew only a few. We started the work week on Tuesday when we finished painting a huge house for one of our neighbors. It was such a huge project that it took 3 teams to complete it! We had to finish the trim that ran all over the house, along with other random odds and ends that needed to become white. When we arrived we all noticed a strange smell that we could not classify. As we walked around the house we discovered it: a pile of rotten food had been discarded out the kitchen window. As we looked at the yard we saw many things: three huge trash cans that stood empty, while the small yard was loaded with anything from pop and beer bottles, broken bikes, stuffed animals and lots of other toys, many of which held water from previous rains. During the two days that I spent helping on the house, I never recognized the same person walking in or out despite the constant flow of people. One of the little boys who is about 8 years old made a new game of throwing crab apples at our crew. We were a little shocked and did not know how to deal with the situation, as often happens a solution presented itself. An older woman holding a broom yelled in her deep southern accent “Snappy, get in here!”. The boy dropped his remaining ammunition and went directly into the house. This was our first glimpse of LuLa- the woman whose house we were painting. LuLa ruled her house, and it was her castle. Everyone listened to LuLa. Two days after finishing that house I was walking with another crew past it and as we admired our handy work she called from the porch “Y’all clean up the house, now we clean the yard.” As we lowered our eyes we saw fifteen or so children putting everything in the yard in the three trash cans. We did other work in the neighborhood by fixing up a porch, bathroom, and deck. We also worked for David Zimmel at Windows, Doors, and More Outlet and did some yard work on Yale. The second week we spent almost all our time getting 1434 ready for Nathan and Genevieve to move into after their marriage in the fall. Heading all this construction was the amazing Tim Hammer. He could do anything. By the end of the week we started replacing Chuck Norris jokes with Tim Hammer jokes. He could fit any shelf into any closet within one cut, even after three of us had made about five cuts and then deemed it impossible. Everyone on the trip went home more skilled in carpentry, electricity, plumbing, and painting all due to Tim’s patient guidance. It was clear that we were having an effect on our neighbors. People smiled and waved as they walked by; one family came over for dinner. The father told us all how, in his quest to read the entire bible, he was relieved to get through Deuteronomy, while his son and daughter played catch with the football in the front yard. It was clear to me as we left that these six houses are a bright light to a neighborhood full of darkness.