A Summer Of Missions To Remember
This Summer was filled with so many great memories. Our Youth Group has been all the way to Honduras, and just around the corner to Shelby NC. During our mission trips this summer, we provided an opportunity each night for the students to share their experience of the day. Specifically, we asked them to share moments from the day/week that were impactful, or where they saw God at work. We wrote down some of their responses, and have saved them so you as the church can read about our experiences personally. Each response is verbatim of how it was shared, and we have also kept each one anonymous.
The Lord surely is good, and his mercy endures forever!
Thank you Forest Hills for being such a blessing to our Youth Group. Because of you, we can be a blessing to others.
-"I picked one kid up and spun him around and turned around and there were 20 kids lined up!"
-"Isaac (the 12 year old drummer) stepped up to me before I spoke at worship and whispered in my ear, 'Jesus is King'"
-Re: Honduras being an eye-opening experience -- "These kids are excited about a paper plate. I'm not excited about a paper plate! Oh. The toilets. And I am thankful for my toilet."
-One of the teens got a little overheated one day and went to bed early, missing supper and devotions. He was almost in tears the next night at devotions when talking about how thankful he was to find out that people (FHBC guys) were coming to check on him all evening. "It really made me feel special."
-2 chaperones taught some of the Honduran kids the Wolfpack sign...
-"A couple of boys have grabbed onto me each morning and now they are saying "mi gringo!'"
-"We gave a girl one of the few bibles we had left and later learned that she had been praying for a bible for a long time"
-"we shouldn't look down on them [because they have so little]; they are happier than most people we know."
-"I gave a bible to a mom of an eight-year-old and the son took it from her, ran off to the side, and started reading it immediately!"
-"My eyes were opened about all of the 18 and 19 year old moms"
-"God really helped my anxiety about this trip."
-"We almost finished building a ramp for a 92 year old woman who hasn't left her house since January. She came out and had a look in her eyes that I have never seen before."
-"We built a ramp for an older couple who had been looking for someone to build a ramp but could not find anyone to do it for less than $15k. Her daughter came by today and busted into tears when she saw us"
-"I met a boy who was abused and went to live with his grandma. He talked about how the bible changed him. We were able to really connect through sharing our stories."
-"Seeing her face after we built the ramp was priceless."
-"One of the waitresses in the restaurant told me how great the youth group was" (ps-- this happens frequently with this group)
-"Yesterday we were anxious about what the first day of missions held and today we are overjoyed with stories and spiritual growth."
-"Some kids from the community came to our site to help us build the ramp. We were able to build a relationship with them and all signed a scrap block for the kids to remember us by."
-"We spent a good solid 4 hours (when you subtract breaks) and really changed someone's life. They can get out of their house!"
-"This week has changed my mindset of evangelism... it really is your actions."
-On day 2 of Shelby missions -- "It has hit me... this is real... we are doing missions."
-"I wasn't sure that God would be able to use us to His fullest extent because we are hosting VBS in a church... not a low income community... not a social agency... not a park... a church, where kids already attend and hear about God's goodness. Then the interim pastor spoke to us about just how much it means to the people of this church that we are taking our time to invest in them it was like God smacked me in the face and said 'Hey, girl. Remember when I told you that I have a purpose for you? Well, this is it.'"
-"At the beginning of the week, I was really doubting I would connect with kids. Today I realized that I did and God is using them."
-"Yesterday we asked some kids if they wanted to play 4-square with us. They said, 'not with yall!' So we were a little offended but started playing and eventually they joined us and we built relationships."
-"Before the family had a ramp, the wife had to call the fire department to have a fireman carry her husband down the steps for appointments."
In response to "What did you learn (about yourself)?"
-"how to chop a piece of wood!"
-"kids feed on your emotions"
-"don't judge a book by it's cover" (re: the community they were in)
-"I can make the best of friends in 2-3 days"
-"Respect for parents of children, for teachers of children, for anyone who does anything with children"
-"That I am not the best judge of what people are thinking. I didn't realize what a big impact I was making. I didn't see it until it was done."
-"patience, endurance, strength, determination."
-"how easy it can be to share with people, even when you're not planning to"
-"In order to become a leader, you first have to become a servant."
In response to "What did you learn about God?"
-"He can work through you and others to spread His word in unexpected ways."
-"He can work in crazy ways."
-"God works through us."
-"God doesn't immediately happen. We planted seeds, but may not be the ones to see the results."
-"God is able to give hope... I don't want to be another person who walks out on [the kids'] life."
In response to "What are you taking home?"
-after lots and lots of bittersweet tears... "Well, we ain't taking home the children!! ... Wait...Can we?!?"
-"The love that the kids showed us."
-"Memories of how kids did listen, remember, and love us"
-"This week's messages encouraged me to learn to be more mature spiritually."
-"Respect for parents and teachers"
-"Meet people where they are."
-Gavin Spell, Youth Ministry Coordinator