Jesus said, "What you have done to the least of my brothers and sisters, you have done to me."
The Youth Mission Trip, Think Globally, Act Locally for Christ, was held from June 18 to June 21. Seven teenagers participated: Elizabeth Boone, Trinity Ellis, Rachel Klinger, Roman Klinger, Susan Sale, Vanessa Smock, and Kenneth Thomsen. There were three adult leaders: Maggie Mahloy, our Youth Minister, Matthew Williamson, our Sexton and the Rev. Lorna Williams.
We began by serving at THRIVE Peninsula, where we organized the pantry, and stacked plastic bags for clients to use when they receive food items to take home. We also did shredding of old papers and updated the resource folders that clients use to find local and national resources for their specific needs, for example, for assistance for veterans. While we were at THRIVE, we learned some facts about the reality faced by many of our neighbors in our communities, for example, Hampton Roads is third in the whole nation in eviction rates.
On two separate days we served at the LINK’s warehouse, organizing donated items such as dishes, cutlery, cups, kitchen items, etc. While we were working clients came in and were very pleasantly surprised with items which were easy to find for them to take home.
Then we participated in Serve the City, which is a big volunteer event put on by the City of Newport News. The youth chose to work with refugee children from Afghanistan. Along with other volunteers, we set up coloring materials, and flash cards to help teach the kids English at a park surrounded by apartments where many refugee families live. We also occupied the little ones while their mothers learned English themselves from other adult volunteers. We encouraged the learning of the children and fed them snacks at the end of the day. Maggie and I enjoyed taking turns holding an adorable two month old baby of one of the Afghani women.
The youth, through their service to their local community, walked in the way of the disciples of Jesus when he sent them out to minister to others. And as Jesus commanded us, these young people shared their love for others. We are very thankful to the congregation for making it possible for us to act locally for Christ, making a difference in the lives of our neighbors.