This year, our church’s Jr. High group got to do something new. While the High School group was in Mexico doing a short term missions trip during Spring Break, our Jr. Highers had the opportunity to serve the local community, and to show Christ’s Love to the hurting here in our own community. The “team” gathered at our church early Monday morning and gathered their bags and sleeping bags and everything in the youth room and the team leaders led a prayer with the kids and the parents. They then informed the kids of what they would be doing. We then headed out to the local Emergency Aid warehouse, the kids (a team of 15 really great teenagers!) were then sent to work at the EA thrift store. Some of the team got to unload a truck of donations and sort clothes, the others worked inside of the thrift store cleaning and rearranging. We then prepared sack lunches and added gift certificates for local fast food restaurants and went around the city to distribute them to homeless people. The group that I was driving for went to a local park in the worst part of town, and gave our 4 lunches away very quickly. The girls in my group were VERY nervous, but once they saw the boys do it, they were more confident. They LOVED it! They were able to share not only nutritious food, but also the Love of Christ in a non-threatening way with the people that Jesus would have been living among. We then went and did some cleanup at some of the local schools. And then when it started raining we returned to the church and made Easter cards for the residents at a local retirement home. This part of the day blessed our kids so much! They got to share the love of Christ with grandma’s and grandpa’s that were lonely, and were so excited to see young faces! Some of the girls want to go back on a regular basis to visit! 🙂 The day was winding to an end, but there was one more important job for them to do….the chairs in the youth room needed to be cleaned. So out came the 409 bottles, and lots of rags, and the kids had fun taking pride in their own youth room. Now when the High School kids come back and notice (and they WILL notice) that the chairs were cleaned, they can know that the younger section of the youth department did it to bless them as well!
The teams then had dinner, and a worship time and a debreif of the day’s activities.
The next morning we left bright and early to work at YWAM’s Gleanings for the Hungry packing house. The day began with a worship service that left a lasting impression on all of the kids and adults alike! They got to hear about the ministries of the Jimmy Hughes Ministries to Honduras (Mr. Hughes was at Gleanings that day to arrange for more bins of food to be sent to his ministry in Honduras to feed the hungry of that country). The kids spent the entire day (from 9-5 with 2 15 minute breaks and an hour lunch) packaging soup mix to be sent to feed the hungry. That team of 15 kids and 4 adults packaged enough soup mix that day to feed 184,870 people! How’s that for hard work! 🙂
All in all, it was a very successful week, and the kids all want to do it again, and my daughter would love to go and work at Gleanings for a whole week! It also gave us some ideas on how to serve in our small group and as a family.
Here’s a picture of some of the kids that I drove around…..the girl in the green shirt is my oldest daughter. The blond hair on the right of the picture is mine…..I was taking the picture while driving (I was actually getting ready to pull out of a parking lot).
And here’s a picture of our team at the retirement home….