Today was our second build day of the trip. After a wonderful southern breakfast prepared by the men at Parkway Baptist Church in Houston, Mississippi, we loaded into the vans and were transported to Greenwood, MS to Baptist Town neighborhood. This is one of the first areas where freed blacks lived in Greenwood in the 1850’s. While there, we worked on a Community Center cleaning up outside, staining the railing, built a porch for a reading program, and many other odd fix up jobs. Another group of our team went to a home and worked to repair a floor and re-screen a porch for a homeowner in the neighborhood.
This was a special day for me in so many ways. I have ridden this same ride for four years in a row now and each one is different because of the other people riding in our group. This year, my youngest daughter is riding along. She has heard so many stories of how special this ride is and all the love we experience in our group and from the churches who host us. She is experiencing it first hand now. Additionally, Greenwood is where my dad went to high school and where my grandparents lived all the time I knew them. I would spend a week there with them each summer as we grew up. A little piece of my heart still dwells there.
As we worked in Baptist Town we had the opportunity to see the Katrina cottages that we built steps for two years ago in Greenwood. The homes are now being lived in and appreciated. What a blessing to see our efforts benefit others. It is great to see a town trying to revive an old neighborhood where people have lived and put down roots. As we were working a sheriff car came through and the deputy took the time to thank us for the efforts we were making today. He had been born in Baptist Town and was fully aware of how the neighborhood had declined. He patrols there regularly trying to get the place cleaned up too. It does take an army and we are doing our little part to make the world a better place.
This evening we came back to the church to another delicious meal provided for us. Some of the church members were there to share our meal with us. It is amazing how generous and kind they are. After we got cleaned up we took the time to have a movie night at the parsonage where most of the females on the trip are staying. We watched The Help which was filmed in Greenwood, some of it in Baptist Town where we had been working today. It was great fun to recognize the homes we saw today in the movie.
Tomorrow morning we will mount our bikes again and hit the Trace riding 75 miles as we head on down to Kosciusko, Mississippi. We have another day of riding together, sharing our stories, helping each other and having fun ahead of us. Another warm church floor and welcoming church members are waiting for us down the road. We are certainly blessed in so many ways!