YOUTH MISSION EXPERIENCES
The summer of 2024, we will have 2 week long youth mission experiences. Any youth currently in 6th-12th grade can attend either or both of the mission experiences. Adults are always needed!
In addition to our week long mission experiences, we will have local mission days where we will go to local mission agencies to help out in our community! In the past we have worked with Kindness Closet, FeedNC, Bridge of Hearts, The Christian Mission, and more! As these dates get scheduled, information will be added below.
2024 Youth Mission Experiences
When: July 21st-27th, 2024
Where: TBD (location set in April)
Who: Any current 6th-12th grade youth and adult chaperones
How Much: $275, includes T-Shirt
What: Appalachian Service Project is a long standing leader in home repair ministry done right. Their tag line is that they are a relational ministry with construction on the side. We will be working on homes (vetted by ASP) and doing basic home repair task to help make the home safer and more liveable.
Work based mission trips are great trips for youth. They help build their confidence, by doing things they didn't know they were capable of doing. They stretch youth (and adults) emotionally, physically, and spiritually. They help give all participants a better perspective on our own lives. Youth simply come back changed!
Youth Mission Blog
Today a number of our youth and adults spent 3 hours at FeedNC. Half our our group worked in the warehouse, sorting through fruit, veggies, breads, and cakes that were donated from outside organizations. We helped make sure things were not past their use by date and still in a usable condition. The other half our our group work in the food pantry restocking things and getting it ready for the first shopping gro0up tomorrow!
FeedNC did a great job of giving the youth a tour and explaining the whole food pantry process to our youth. All of the youth had a great time and learned a lot about the FeedNC. We even had some folks stay and have lunch at the Donoghue's Open Door Cafe!
Here are some photos of our experience today.
Today was a great day!
We started our day with a 7:30 breakfast and then had our morning devotion. After devotion, we headed to Cedaridge Ministries where we helped in a VERY hot warehouse. Our primary job was loading up pallet's with donated items. Cedaridge was doing a pallet giveaway day with all the items they cannot use in their Thrift store. The youth worked really hard! They then had a few moments to shop in the Thrift store (the money supports their ministry).
We then headed to Cumberland Falls for lunch and a little sightseeing. Thanks to James for buying everyone ice cream at Cumberland Falls.
After Cumberland Falls, the group returned back to the host church and helped decorate for VBS. We then went to the original KFC (Sander's Cafe) and then took a trip to see some trains for Landon.
We wrapped up with our evening meeting and now the youth are having some fun before bed. We are all sad to see the end of the trip, but all excited to get home too.
Today was a great day, but a long day. Lots of tired youth (and adults)...and no one complained when I moved up bedtime by 30 minutes. No youth updates today, because I didn't have a chance to really have anybody write one. Here is a run down of our day.
We had an early breakfast and a quick devotion. We then ran to a home of a member of Grace on the Hill (our host church). The yard was very overgrown and there was lots of trash in the back corner where a homeless gentleman had taken up residence for a while. Our team (both groups) worked really hard to cut brush way back and take out all the trash in the yard. We filled a 6 foot by 12 foot dump trailer with all the stuff we cut and pick up today. We also replaced a window on the home, from where the panes were completely broken out.
After putting in a few hours of work there, we headed back to the church to have lunch and get ready for the water park. We headed to the water park and spent 3 hours there. A few youth are a little on the pink side, but thankfully no one appears to be burned.
We returned from the water park and then had dinner with the Wednesday night church crowd here at Grace on the Hill. Our youth then joined with the Grace on the Hill youth group for some games and worship. Our group joined the green team and the green team won the game!
We had our evening meeting and then the youth had some downtime for a while. Some went to bed early, some just chilled in the room, and some played 4 square with James and me.
Tomorrow we will be headed to Cedaridge Ministries to help with a thrift store (the proceeds to the store support ministry to the community). We will then head to Cumberland Falls for lunch and then back to the church for some more work at the church.
It was a hot day in Kentucky, but a productive day! You can read updates on the day from some of the youth's perspective below.
One quick note for parents (and others who are praying for our trip!). Our plans have changed a little for tomorrow. Initially, we were going to be working here at the host church, but we are now going to be headed to a home of a church member. We are going to be doing some heavy yard work as well as installing two new windows that have been broken out. In the afternoon, we will take time off and head to the water park (instead of Thursday). Weather for Thursday doesn't look great, so we will work here at the host church inside.
Here are the updates!
Today we woke up late and ate a delicious breakfast of french toast casserole and fresh fruit. Then we went to devotion to worship our lord. After the worship meeting, we piled into the vans and drove to Mr. Raymond’s house. We split into groups of two and got to work. Taylor and Kevin cleaned the gutters and sized panels for the roof, and me and Emmie put a second layer of sealant on the deck. Piper and Ava painted inside. Me and Emmie got done early, so we sanded and painted a door. We are so excited to see what god will have us do tomorrow!
Today we got to wake up a little later and ate breakfast, followed by a devotion. After our devotion we went over to TL’s house and got to work immediately. We started by doing a second layer of sealing the deck, other work we did included, trimming/shaping the hedges, fixing the toilet, and afterwards we raked up all the leaves and finished with lunch. We headed over to another house and did some yard work like using a weed wacker and leaf blower. We had such a great experience learning how to use all the new tools and doing stuff we haven’t done before! We can’t wait to see what we are going to do tomorrow!
Here are some updates from today's trip and some photos from yesterday and today! Youth are all doing great and all worked hard today! We had a great trip up, despite the poor decision to stop at Buc-ees. Apparently it is a big thing these days and I thought we were just stopping for gas...that decision added an hour to our trip!
On the first day of work, we woke up really early and had breakfast and a devotion after which we drove to the home of TL. TL’s needed some help staining her deck and some minor yard work. TL was super sweet with great taste in music, she has an intellectual disability that requires a part-time caregiver named Rosemary. TL enjoyed sitting on the porch chatting with us while we worked. She had a cat named Happy that she talked about and loved very much.
We started our work day by preparing our work space. We were staining a deck, so we wrapped the rebar with plastic to protect it from the stain and cleaned the debris off the porch. Next, we got to work staining the deck. We had lunch with TL and headed back to the church to help sort donations in their thrift store. It was an eye opening experience and we are excited to see the new adventures in store for tomorrow.
Today was day one of the mission trip and I have already learned so many new things that I thought I would never do! To start the day off we woke up got ready and then went to go eat breakfast which was delicious. Next we went to devotional and after that we were out the door to Mr. Raymond’s house to get working! At Mr. Raymond’s we did things such as staining a deck, painting a bedroom, pressure washing, repairs on the outside of the house, and cleaning out the gutters. Today was super fun and everyone has learned something new and we can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for us tomorrow!!!
Here are the updates from the last 2 days. Thanks to the ASP staff for letting me use their office wifi.Day 3
Today we worked on getting all of the staples and carpet pieces out of the floor of the trailer. We cut wood using the table saw and we used that wood to make some walls to put up in the trailer. We also got to learn more about the homeowner and we met his dogs. Overall it was a very productive day.
Today we fixed the hole under the sink, took out the rotten plate in Nova’s room, the rotten parts of some studs, and reframed the wall. Kevin fixed the door, and we caulked all the holes in the door frame and around the new flooring we put in. Then we finally finished the day off by pulling up a bunch of old tile.
Today I (Landyn) got the chop saw for the first time, it was so fun to get to learn about all the different tools on this trip. We got a lot of framing done in the house and it was fun to see the house come together for Joey. When we put the sheet rock in it really helped us to see an idea of what the house would look like. Everyday Joey was up bright and early ready to help us. He really knows his stuff and it helps to keep us motivated on days when we feel like we can’t work anymore. We also got to have a “picnic” with all the families each group were serving. I got to meet the family group 2 was serving this week. It was so nice to get to know this family. I really loved spending time with Andrew and the rest of his family.
Today we focused mostly on working in the kitchen, most of the day was spent tearing up floor tiles and the quarter inch plywood underneath but much of the subfloor was rotten so we had to cut holes for the rest of the day.Sorry there is not as many photos of group 1 on the job site...with limited wifi, getting photos transferred phone to phone has been a challenge! I'll try to add more tomorrow!
Today we continued our work from yesterday. We pulled out staples, worked on the floors, pulled out dry wall, and did some cleaning up. We did this to help build new rooms and walls later on in the project. The past few days we have been deconstructing the trailer in order to construct it in the future.
Today we also were able to spend more time with Joey, and learn more about his family. We learned more about his son and daughter, and learned more of the purpose behind why he is renovating his home. Joey also worked right alongside us all day. Seeing the intentional and mindful work Joey modeled encouraged our whole group to work with that same intention and mindfulness. Tomorrow we plan to put up sheet rock; and we are excited for another productive day!
Today we worked some on re-enforcing supporting beams underneath the home by installing additional support. We did lots of measuring, cutting, and screwing into place. We didn’t accomplish much in this area, and we plan to finish supporting from underneath the trailer tomorrow.
We also fixed a large hole in the corner of the trailer located in the kitchen. However, this repair ended up entailing much extra work. After peeling up flooring, and cutting out rotted wood, we repaired the corner of the home’s supporting beams, along with some along the side of and underneath the hole in the kitchen. After the area was confidently supported, we were able to use plywood to cover the hole, though, there was a small hole still remaining. We patched it up with scrap wood, but tomorrow, we will replace the scrap wood with more permanent wood.
Here are some photos from our day as well as some candid photos at the school.
Here are updates from a few of our work team participants today! At the bottom are a few photos as well!Group 1: Terry, Shelley, Chris, Mary Ana, Landyn, and Kaden
Today we visited the home of Joey. He has a daughter and son. They are both young. Joey purchased the trailer at the beginning of the year and he changed it from an office to a home. His father died and he’s been staying with his mom, but the children were taken away from him by CPS because he didn’t have a suitable living situation for them.
Today, our team helped Joey out with removing sheet rock, insulation, and a ton of staples from the stud boards. We did all of this in preparation of putting in new floor boards and 2x6 boards tomorrow.
Today was a very productive and strength testing day from pulling out the staples. My hands are in tons of pain. Other than that, it was very humbling and eye opening to all of us on the site. We can’t wait for more tomorrow! We’ll keep you all updated.
Group 2: Kevin, Melody, Amelia, Carson, and Daniel
Today we visited the home of Jerri and Timothy. They have a large, beautiful family of 6. We had the pleasure of meeting two of their children Nova (7) and Andrew (3). Nova preferred to be called “Stitch” and Andrew loved Paw Patrol. Jerri and Timothy reside in rural Clay, WV in a trailer home on the first property they’ve had the pleasure of owning. Two years ago, Timothy purchased the trailer and had it moved on the property. It is a humble lodging in desperate need repair. The home sits without running water or plumbing and its floorboards and ceilings are in decay. Many of the rooms are simply divided by framed walls with no sheetrock or wallboard and the walls they do have are made of plywood.
Today, our team was able to replace some of the rotting floorboards with fresh plywood and floor joists. The family was incredibly thankful for the new flooring. The kids spent much of their time observing our team and getting comfortable with the volunteers. Nova’s grandfather drove by in his logging truck and Nova’s day was made. Her face lit up with such joy as he stopped his truck and opened the door to give her a big hug.
It was a productive day full of hard work. It was a humbling experience that reminded us all how much we take for granted and how blessed we are to have the time and resources to share with new friends.
I love mission trips. They are one of my favorite parts of ministry. In part, it is due to the work we do. it feels good to help others. However, the main reason I love them is the transformation I see happen in both youth and adults throughout these trips.
I see transformation happen...
When we take the time to hear stories
When we look for God at work in what we are doing
When we fight through challenges and things we didn't think it was possible for us to do
When we worship together with others from around the country
When we fellowship at night and get to know one another better
I love to see folks the first time the "get it"..."it" being that mission work isn't something we do because it makes us feel good, but mission work is part of what it means to love God with all our heart, all our minds, and all our strength. "It" being what it means to love our neighbors as ourselves. "It" being that we are coming in as the "haves" and helping the "have nots," but we are all children of God called to lift one another up.
I love hearing folks talk about they came to give for the week, but ended up receiving far more than they gave. God's economy is a funny thing...2+2 rarely equals 4 when God is involved. There is a synergy that happens when we come together. The sum is far superior to the sum of our parts...and that "extra" can only be explained as God.
Be in prayer this week for our team.
Be in pray for our adults: Terry, Shelley, Melody, Chris, and Kevin.
Be in pray for our youth: Carson, Amelia, Landyn, Daniel, Mary Ana, and Kaden
Pray that we may love strong and feel God's love as well
We will use our Youth Missions Blog to put up updates and pictures for each of our mission trips and mission experiences! This will be a great way for parents and church members to keep up with what we are doing during our mission weeks!
We also hope that it can and will be used as a tool for prayer for those back home! Look at the updates and pray for our youth and volunteers, pray for folks impacted by the work we are doing, and pray that God moves in the hearts of everyone involved!
This Summer, we have several offsite trips planned and some in town mission work planned!
Overnight Mission Trips
June 18th-24th, our High School youth will be going to Clay, WV to serve with ASP. We currently have 13 participants on this trip!
July 9th-14th, our Middle School youth will be going to Corbin, KY to serve with Thirst Missions. We currently have 17 participants on this trip!
Youth Mission Mondays
July 24th - we will be serving with FeedNC here in Mooresville
August 7th - we will be serving with both the Kindness closet and Bright Blessings
Please be in prayer for our youth and volunteers as they serve this summer!
Keeping up with our students post high school graduation is very important to us. Whether you are college bound or entering the work force we would like to keep up with you. Don't forget to join our weekly Bible study on Zoom. Contact Kevin Ward for the link.
YOUTH MINISTRY PROGRAMS
Our youth ministry programs are designed to help youth find ownership of their faith, grow in their faith, and learn how to live their faith boldly outside the walls of the church. We are very relationally focused, working to build a supportive community were everyone can find a place of belonging and can use their gifts to build up the community around them.
There are programs on Sunday morning that are more bible study focused The Sunday night program has large group worship time as well as a small group time where youth can safely explore their faith through topics that are relavant to them. Our current small group break down is a 6th grade girls group, a 7th & 8th girls group, a middle school boys group, and a high school group.
We have fall and spring retreats that are great times to get to know other youth better, they often serve as incredible mountain top encounters with God, and can springboard youth into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. We also maintain a missional focus, serving both in our local community and on mission trips to other states.
All youth that are in 6th - 12th grade are welcome to join any of our programs at any time!
Sunday morning at 11:00, we have two groups that meet down at the youth house.
Middle School - The middle school group meets at the God Cave and is currently looking at biblical principles that we can find in film/movies. Most of the movies we watch are disney based, but we can really watch just about anything!
High School - The high school group meets in the youth house and have an in depth bible study. It is an open format, where they read scripture together and talk about what they think it means.
Snacks and hot cocoa are provided each week for the youth in the Youth House Kitchen.
Sunday night our youth meet as part of the Fuel Your Family program.
Our schedule looks like this:
4:00 pm - Youth Band in the God Cave (all abilities welcomed!)
5:00 pm - Dinner in the fellowship hall
5:30 pm - Youth Program
Our Sunday night program starts with a large group meeting in the God Cave where we introduce the topic for the night. We then break into small groups (MS boys, HS youth, 6th grade girls, and 7th & 8th grade girls) for about 40 minutes. We return to the God Cave to recap the lesson and then have some time of worship.
Confirmation is a program for our current 8th grade youth. It will run from January 2024 through April 2024. Confirmation is a faith exploration class where youth will then have the pleasure to decide if they want to "Confirm" their infant baptism or be baptized. They will then become full members of the United Methodist Church.