But more importantly we were able to have a little bit of discussion about our trip. During the week we meet together in church groups, but being a group of 35 it's impossible to do that every night and have everyone be a part so we split up into smaller cells. Tonight is the first night we are all together again and can share stories. Our students talked for almost 2.5 hours about the trip, where they saw Jesus, and what they want to remember from this mission experience.
Thanks to Youthworks and all the great staff for a wonderful week, and here are a few stories from our students.
This week has been nothing short of amazing. Serving the community in so many different ways is always an amazing time. Personally, I enjoyed going to AG Rhodes, a rehab center, and talking to the residences there. There were 3 ladies I talked to for the majority of my time there, and their amount of wisdom is astounding. They told about how life is such a complex and fragile chain of events. One woman took off at a young age to go to school and make groundbreaking leaps for all women. She came out of college and got a job at a massive company, being 1 of 15 female employees there. One lady described her faith to us and even prayed over us as we left that day. And lastly, the third discussed all her hardship she had in her life, including anxiety and depression. Seeing her that day however, she could not have been a sweeter and kinder lady, and as we talked she made clear how much our presence there means to her. To hear what you are doing means that much to them is quite humbling. Walking into AG Rhodes day one, I did not know how comfortable I was talking to these people I never met. However, at the end of the week, I could not be happier to have spent time with the residences there. I enjoyed that sight so much and I would not hesitate to do something like that again. I will miss mission trips like these a lot. - Adam
No need to worry, all of your family and friends did a wonderful job serving this year, and I’m going to miss all of them as I go off to college. They made this trip a lot of fun even in tasks that otherwise would not have been. This year I had the opportunity to work at places that involved meal packing, so it was pretty much manual labor the entire week. While it may be harder to see Jesus in that than with relational work, the sheer quantity of meals we were able to pack obviously had a huge impact on the individuals who received them. We were thanked by all of them we had the opportunity to meet personally, which was very nice to be able to see. I am very content with my past six years of being able to help at Youthworks, and I have been encouraged to continue serving throughout the rest of my life. - Tyler
I’ll start by saying that the amount of influences and role models in the graduation senior class is pretty much astounding. These people have been accepting and friendly since day one. Having a solid base of friends, especially in jr. high and high school where things change so easily. I will tell you that this change will probably be the hardest. Their friendship makes church and worship exponentially easier. On that note I would like to share my thoughts on this mission trip:
My overall favorite part is getting the opportunity to serve kids at the Nicolas House Camp which is a day camp for kids at the Nicolas House homeless shelter and even kids who don’t live at the shelter. They were rowdy like all little kids but also completely respectful to the authorities. On the first day I was with them in the afternoon when the gym was closed and everyone was packed in a classroom playing bored games there was this one lone kid in the corner, his name was Trenton. I asked him what he would like to play and he said Lego Batman. We did not have any action figures and most of the games were used without many pieces left in them. We ended up using clear packing tape and generic game pawns to reenact the complete story of Lego Batman. His giddy face and bright attitude struck me as the perfect symbolism far the overall theme of the week which was THE GOOD LIFE. I felt like that little kids bright face was how god wanted me to feel with him and his message sent to us through Jesus. I realized God wanted us to be happy with each other no matter the circumstance, He wants us to trust Him, He wants us to serve. Back to what I was saying in the beginning of this story when I reflected upon the influence of our great senior class, the good life is much easier to obtain with a solid support base. Thank you Lord for this truly great blessing. - Jacob