Middle School Mission Trip 2014: Seeing God

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imageOn May 9-11 our 6th & 7th grade youth went to Minneapolis for a time of learning, service, and fun. This post is an update during their mission trip.

Today was service day. Including the other church staying here, there were four work groups. Three of the groups did outside home care, and one spent the morning at a children’s nursery and the afternoon at a thrift store sorting donations.

imageFollowing a nice meal served to us through a local organization, we all spent time together sharing reflections from our day. One question asked was “Where did you see God today?”

Some said in the people we helped – the smiles and excitement of the children, the home owners who worked alongside us or who simply spent time talking with us while we worked, in the joy on their faces and the knowledge that even though what we did might have seemed small to us we helped in ways that were significant to them.

imageI certainly agree that the light of God was visible in all those ways. But, for me, God was even more visible in the actions and heart of our young people. Our boys did yard work – raking, weeding, trimming – for four households. Yes, four houses. And they worked just as hard for the last homeowner as they did for the first. Yes, their actions were a little slower, just like mine were – no surprise after more than four hours of work. But their desire to do a good job, to please the homeowner, to get it done right didn’t waiver no matter how tired they were. They understood that each person is just as important as the other, as deserving of respect, deserving of the best we are able to give them. And Terri said the same was true for our girls on her team. Whether it was the first hour of work or the last, no task was unimportant, every task asked the best we had to give.

imageAnd I saw God’s light in Steeli. Steeli, a high schooler who came on the middle school trip to help mentor the others. Steeli, who gave not only her weekend to these kids, but who gave of her heart to them. Steeli, who could laugh and joke with them in one moment and then lead them in evening devotions the next. Steeli – I pray you know what a blessing you have been to us.

On our journey of love and justice, it is the heart we bring to all that we do that enables the light of God to shine.

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