We recently had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a local mission trip with our church. While we were nervous about working with high school students and leaders from other campuses from our church, we are beyond ecstatic that we were able to go and experience this blessing.
Most people tend to think that mission trips must be out of state or even across the ocean in a foreign country, but there are millions of people who need care ad love and basic needs met within the borders of our state, sometimes even just across the street from your church. This past week was rejuvenating, exhausting, and eye-opening.
Because both of us grew up in church, this wasn’t our first mission trip, but it was one of the most unique. We started the week by getting to know all of the high school students and other leaders that we would be working with. We were staying at the church’s Pelham Road campus in Greenville, and we would be showering at a YMCA about 10 minutes away (we’ve never been more grateful for our own shower). Every morning we would load up in vans and drive not even 1 minute to government housing apartments that were right across the road from the church. Shortly after we arrived at the apartment complex, a group of us would go knock on doors and invite kids to a “Camp Cul-De-Sac” we were hosting with music, food, games, crafts, skits, and a Bible lesson every day. The kid’s camp was planned and ran by the high school students. The “adults” were just there to oversee and make sure that no-one was killed during kickball or swallowed any of the craft supplies.
After the camp, we would load back up and head to different service projects that both the students and the leaders took part in. Every day was a little different, but we pulled weeds on two occasions for an organization called “Mill Village Farms,” which transforms vacant properties in mill village communities to areas of locally-grown produce. The organization employs youth and provides experiences in basic job skills, agriculture, and entrepreneurship.
The rest of the day was filled with teaching sessions, games, and bonding moments. It was one of the most stretching, but fulfilling adventures that we have had in a long time. We were sad to see the trip end, but we were excited to see our bed instead of sleeping on an air mattress for one more night.