Traveling to an unknown city with a paintbrush is low on the to-do list for most 8th-12th graders (and most adults!) But for those who have taken the chance already, the decision to go again is a no-brainer. Let me do the prep-work for you and tell you why we send our students on work/mission trips, and why Pastor Dale takes church members on Habitat trips. Maybe it will help make the decision easier the first time around! These stories come directly from people who traveled on Group Mission Trips. It only takes ONE person, one inspiration, one project to change a life!
That One Person.
Student Stephan writes:
“During my Workcamp, I kept asking God to present me with opportunities to serve. Nothing ever came up, and I was worried that God would never give me an answer. However, on Thursday when we talked about SURRENDER, I asked God what he wanted me to surrender. I sought guidance in a close friend. He told me, “Stop asking God what he wants you to do, and let him show you.” On my way out, I saw a girl from my youth group crying. So I sat down with her and started talking. I never could have imagined what she was going through. But I helped her, and kept talking until I put a smile on her face. Then it hit me, that was why I was at Group Workcamps, I had found what God wanted me to do. I may have saved a life that day.”
That One Project.
Student Sasha writes:
“On the first day working on the wheelchair ramp, we found we were unable to begin construction due to the concrete base outside the door. Instead, we began to paint the underside of the roof. Although this was not a part of our job description, and we could have avoided this extra work, it was clear we had been inspired by God, and we continued to try new repairs. We took down the fence to repair its posts and mix concrete to stabilize the wood. By the end of the weekend, we had done at least 5 other important projects for the resident, including the completion of the wheelchair ramp and the painting. It was inspiring to see the residents sitting on the porch outside together for the first time in months, and to see her dogs in the backyard safe behind their new fence.”
That One Conversation.
Student Angelica writes:
“Going into the week, I was afraid because I have a shy personality and saying “hello” to people and having conversations is usually out of my comfort zone. But I took a risk and made an effort to be outgoing and friendly with each person I met. It became easier each day! I feel blessed to have gone on this mission trip and been able to refocus my spirituality to one of greater trust in God and trust in myself. This week was an opportunity for community-building, faith-growing, and service.”
That One New Friend.
Resident Terry Writes,
“My wife decided in November that she no longer wanted to be married to me. I was forced from my home. I was homeless. The kindness of God’s blessings has provided so much love and loyalty, unspeakable joy, a movement only God could have provided. So often I see teens on the streets and their manner of dress, their language, and intimidating behavior is what I thought the next generation was going to be. However, these young people have caused me to have a change of thought! These young people are an inspiration! They are the best and brightest and give me hope for the future generation. My prayers will always include each of them. My quality of life literally improved by these students’ hard work. I would never have dreamed this would be possible. It was an unexpected but appreciated blessing. I’ve gone from homeless to heavenly.”
That One Inspiration.
Youth Worker Patricia writes about an adult chaperone on her trip: “Molly suffered a severe stroke 4 months following her Group Missions trip. Her walk with God had been changed on this mission trip and gave her the strength, courage and trust to recover from a stroke that almost took her life.”