There is a popular saying when it comes to Christians on vacation.
“There is no vacation from your vocation.”
St. Philip juniors Ryan Reincke, Matt Gordon, and Brodie Landstra took that saying to heart, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity of Horry County, South Carolina over spring break.
To be fair, the idea started with Ryan’s mom, Kathy Reincke.
“We’ve done what we really think are nice spring breaks,” Mrs. Reincke said. “Being a junior who is getting close to leaving and who has had a lot of nice opportunities, I said to Ryan, ‘I think you need some kind of working trip. If you can think of something in that vein, I’m all game.’”
Being interested in construction, Ryan found a volunteer opportunity near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
“I wasn’t sure about giving up a stress-free vacation to volunteer for Habitat, but I was still optimistic,” Ryan said.
Spring break is synonymous with friends, so Ryan invited Brodie, Matt, and Deacon Dey, their friend from the Battle Creek Math and Science Center, who attends Union City High School.
“Initially I was a little confused on exactly how this trip was gonna go, but the more I learned about what we were doing, the more excited I got,” Brodie said.
Before they left, Mrs. Reincke and Brodie’s mom, Shawna Landstra, laid out trip objectives about understanding and helping with a new community’s challenges.
“I wanted it to be clear that this is not just about going somewhere for spring break,” Mrs. Reinke said. “We talked it through with them, and they were on board.”
After a long drive and a quick dip in the ocean, the boys reported for work. They helped build a new home, as well as move donations at the Habitat ReStore. They learned new skills and had a good time doing it.
“Something that surprised me was we were able to accomplish a pretty large amount in such little time,” Brodie said.
“Working outdoors was fun,” Matt said. “It was nice to know I was helping someone else out directly.”
“I really liked nailing the beginning of the roof on knowing that it’s going to be covering a loving family,” Ryan said.
As for the moms? They weren’t sunning on the beach while the boys worked.
“We were right up there alongside them,” Mrs. Reincke said. “We all learned to hammer together.”
Perhaps the most successful part is the intention of these young men to take another alternative spring break.
“I really liked the fact that I was able to work with my friends,” Brodie said. “I could help others while having a good time.”
“I had a lot of fun, and it felt good knowing that I was helping someone,” Ryan said.
There is no vacation from your vocation, but when you’re serving others alongside good friends, it’s all good.
The moms had the boys take turns documenting their trip, which they compiled into a journal with photos. Click here to read all more about it.