Following Jesus into the World

  • A dozen 12-14 year olds from GGCC.
  • Another 50 12-18 year olds from three other churches. 
  • One week.
  • No cell phones, ipods, tvs, computers.
  • Cramped sleeping quarters and shared bathroom facilities in a 50-year old building.
  • Little privacy, less sleep, lots of hormones.

 WHY? 

Following Jesus into the world.

Last week youth from The Firm Youth Ministry hopped into three mini-vans and drove up to Lander, WY for a week-long mission trip serving in Jesus’ name on the Wind River Reservation.  We were there to offer a little hope and show them a lot of love.  A mission trip is a good way to practice what it means to love God, love people and serve the world. 

  Our group was split into work crews. These crews served one another during the week. 

      
We got to know other missionaries from Green Bay, WI; Buffalo, MN; and Salida, CO. Each crew served two days on work projects and during the week painted the exteriors of 2½ houses that were undergoing renovation on the reservation.

 Two days were reserved for leading (planning, coordinating and executing) an afternoon Kids Club in the town of Ethete on the reservation; as well as stopping by to visit with residents at a rehab clinic/Alzheimers facility in Riverton. 

When you list it out like this it doesn’t sound like all that much. But really – it was.

Forming teams of young people who have just met and organizing them into functioning units is a miracle in and of itself; not to mention, reminding them that the paint was donated so paint-fights were out of the question; painting carefully so the residents would be proud to live there; building relationships with children who were skeptical. Allowing youth to develop the songs, skits, crafts and games for the children required this adult to really take a step back! 

 In a word – the youth were amazing! They didn’t complain, whine or grumble. They didn’t pine for their electronics. They weren’t able to hide behind ear buds so conversation was plentiful and creative. They volunteered to go above and beyond the expectation. They got to large group activities on time, listened when appropriate, were interested in learning about Native American culture and were compassionate and caring with one another. Don’t get me wrong – we had a lot of fun, kids were often pretty silly and getting their attention at times was a challenge. 

But – these students give me so much hope for the future. For how the world might be a different place because of their leadership. For how the church might be a true reflection of Jesus. For how their lives intertwine the secular and spiritual. For how much love they are willing to give.  For their willingness to follow Jesus into the world. 

Vikki

P.S. Looking for more pictures? Click here.

 

"Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.  No one has ever seen God.  But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us."  1 John 4:11-12

 

4 comments (Add your own)

1. Mary McManigle wrote:
These mission trips have been and continue to be such a blessing in my children's lives. They literally grow in their faith as human beings overnight. Thank you Dave, Vikki and all the leadership at GGCC for making these trips happen every year.

I've been thinking all week about what Kaitlyn said about holding the memory of experiences in your head but holding the people you meet that are part of those experiences in your heart. Beautiful, just beautiful.

Thu, July 30, 2009 @ 9:12 AM

2. Vaud Oberlander wrote:
I'm so proud of these kids and what a hope for the future.
from Ty's Grandma

Fri, July 31, 2009 @ 8:24 PM

3. M.Mary wrote:
Dear Most respected brothers and sisters in Christ
Greetings to you from our Heavenly father and soon coming savior Jesus Christ!
I am pleased to introduce my self Pastor M.Mary, serving the Lord for the last 5 years in the coastal area of Andhra Pradesh state {South India}.
God made a miracle in my life when I came to see your website; I was encouraged to note the activities of your ministry that touched my heart greatly. Ours is an independent ministry serving the lord with utmost faith only.
Dear One in Him we have been serving in tribal areas with my co-pastors. Those who are living in that area we providing their needs according to James 1:27 and providing food, clothing, education and all accommodation at free of cost.
Part of our work me and elders, church members, distribute pamphlets, bible material, pray for the sick and needy and conduct rural village Gospel meetings, win their souls and leading them to the kingdom of God.
I was encouraged after having gone through your Id, website and decided to work with your ministry.
On my behalf, church elders, and saints, I invite you to visit India in the year 2010 to minister with us as we are much interested to see you in person, to have you in our midst to proclaim the Good news of Jesus to win many a perishing souls in this end time and request you to join in prayer with us.
We all praying for you daily in our personal, family and church prayers and request you to continue to pray for us, for our ministry and for our invitation to you to visit India to minister with us in 2010.
Our love and faithful prayers for you,
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor. M.Mary
mary238@rediffmail.com

Mon, October 18, 2010 @ 1:18 AM

4. Simon wrote:
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Thu, January 10, 2013 @ 3:32 AM

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