Overall thought of the trip is that it was amazing. My favorite part was working at Trailblazing Seniors, a drop in center for retirees, and meeting Elder V (the woman who runs it). It was great because she told us what God has planned for our future. We’re in Canada and going home tomorrow. –Noah
Today we sat in the van for a few hours and crossed to Canada. We are currently staying at a church in Troy’s hometown. Our group toured a lighthouse and then went tourist shopping where I got a sweatshirt. Then we went to the beach. I almost drowned when I swam to the other pier then Luke had to help me. This trip was fun since I was given the opportunity to socialize with a lot of different people even though it was hard sometimes. I also loved touring the local church in Niagara Falls called Holy Trinity it was definitely a site to remember. –Kaycee
This trip was life-changing for me. Not because it was my first, but because of the people I met. Of course I met people while we were at the service cites, but the day we went to the falls really made me think. We had just gotten off the Maid of the Mist, and just decided to walk around. While we were walking around we ran into one of the Youthworks staff, Joseph. He was talking to one of his friends he’s made while working this summer, and apparently his friend wanted to tell his story. His friend’s name was Micah. Before he told us his story, he asked everyone what was their most difficult time in life. Some people did answer, but I had an inkling in my stomach to answer. Micah told us about when he was born with a rare condition that gave him cancer. At six months old he was doing chemo. Medical conditions continued throughout his life, doctors didn’t think he was going to live. But guess what he did! He said God had been there his whole life and told him to never give up. He went through a lot of deep struggles and decisions, and wondered if life was worth living. But God never gave up on him, and he never gave up on God.
After he told us his story, we began walking to where we would watch the firework show. Ginny was walking with Micah, while I was walking with the others. As we were walking I was wondering why he shared his story, because it’s not easy to. All last year I was working with kids just like Micah. They usually wouldn’t open up right on the bat. But the fact that Micah just told his story with no worries or hesitation, really just spoke to me. When I asked him why he told me his story he just wanted people to know that God changed his life for a reason, and God made our lives like this. He asked me to tell him why I asked this specific question. I told him that what he said and who he is just meant something to me. He was wondering if I was impacted by his story and what I learned. He impacted me to learn people’s stories and never give up even if you’re in a deep dark hole. He asked me if I ever wanted to end my life. I told him no because I haven’t had enough time on this earth to even think about it, even if I was just mad about life. He told me it was okay if I ever wanted to end my life, because he’s been there before. He understands what it’s like to not feel important or feel like nothing is ever going to be okay. When I told him that it was my first mission trip and that he was basically one of the first people I’ve talked to. Micah was surprised and really proud of me because of that. I don’t know if that was because it’s hard for people to even understand him, or that me talking to him was surprising. Then he asked Ginny how I inspire her. Now that’s a question I never ever thought I would hear about myself. Ginny said how I’ve been stepping out in faith to help and talk to others. As well as the sincerity in which how I carve out time for Jesus are inspiring. After that we made it to the site where we could see Niagara Falls and we took a few cool selfies.
After we parted ways there was just an inkling beat inside of me to dance, since I’m a dancer. Usually I never get that feeling, but just by the way he inspired me. There were a couple other times where Micah appeared, and him just being there made me happy. One of the last times I actually was with him I told him that. He wondered why I was happy just because he was there. I told him that he made me feel like I was important. I told him that after I met him all I wanted to dance. He told me to just dance, but for me it doesn’t work like that. He told me to dance even if people are or aren’t watching, because who cares. He told me that if some of my friends don’t like who I am then they’re not my friends. The last time I saw him he told me I wasn’t alone, because God’s always with me. I told him that I would dance for him because he impacted and inspired me. He said that I was the second person that was directly impacted by him. He even pulled over Joseph to tell him that, because they’ve become such good friends.
I’ll always remember Joseph. He impacted and inspired me in so many ways I don’t think I even know how many. The first day that we were there he sat at my table. Different people were talking about they can’t do different things because they’re not talented enough. He said that God gave us the gifts and talents we have for a reason. To be able to see and make a difference with your gifts. The first night he also told us how he didn’t fall into the right crowd in part of his life. He told us how one day he knew he needed to make a change. Joseph talked about how God helped him and never left his side no matter what. How God forgave him, and how things you’ve done shape who you are for a reason. To me it just seemed like God’s spirit was just shooting out of him all the time. Also how much he care about then people who serve and the people being served. The way he inspired me to learn about God, just by how he loves God. Also the fact that he wanted to know each and every one of us, and if he didn’t he wished he did. Joseph is a person who inspire others each and every day, and I’m glad I got to know him a little bit.
I’m thankful that God placed all these people and missions in my life, because without them I wouldn’t be who I am. Especially all of the youth group people and volunteers. I’ll forever be thankful for this mission trip and the opportunity to be able to share with others. This scripture really spoke out to me this week, because to me it’s all of life. “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people can’t see the whole scope of God’s work, from beginning to end,” Eccleslates 3:11. –Callie