Pray for me, friends. Actually, include Andrew, Brenda, our intern Jenny Johnson (Jentern?), and the dozen adults who will be helping out at the Justin next week in those prayers as well.
From Monday to Thursday of next week, 35 middle school youth, led by four high school youth, two college students, and a cadre of brave heroes of the faith, will be staying in the Justin building and running around Fort Worth for our second annual Middle School Mission Blitz!
Last year, Andrew and Casey had the idea to host a two-day, one-night mission experience for the youth who had just finished confirmation and would be in seventh grade in the fall. The blitz was a great success, and so this year, we decided to extend it to a three-day, three-night experience for both rising seventh- and rising eighth-graders as a way to ease our youngest students into the youth ministry and to empower our older middle school youth to step up and welcome younger youth in.
This experience is meant to be an introduction into the hands-on service that defines so much of who we are as a church, and as youth ministry. We will be structuring the week around Isaiah 58:6-7, “Isn’t this the fast I choose: . . . setting free the mistreated, and breaking every yoke? Isn’t it sharing your bread with the hungry and bringing the homeless poor into your house, covering the naked when you see them, and not hiding from your own family?” We are using the five movements in the passage (set free, sharing bread, housing homeless, covering the naked, not hiding from our family) as a basis for why we are serving where and how we are, and as a way to learn about important issues affecting our city, state, and world, and what Jesus has to say about them. Each movement will contain an element of hands-on service, education, and devotional study. For example, when we explore feeding the hungry, we’ll work in the garden at Project 44, learn about food insecurity in Fort Worth, and talk about the ways that Jesus feeds those of us who are spiritually hungry.
We’ll spend our evenings back in the Justin debriefing, worshipping together, and playing games, and we’ll even have a special guest appearance by some members of The Gathering community to make snacks! It should be a packed, high-energy crash course in community, service, and what it means to be part of the youth ministry for some of our youngest youth, and we are so excited to dive headfirst into this adventure with them!
Keep these youth, and those of us who lead them, in your prayers through this and next week!