It’s hard to believe but summer is coming to a close. It has been an incredibly busy one over in the Justin. Our teenagers have been to New York City, Houston, and Purdy, Missouri. They have logged an incredible amount of volunteer hours with both VBS and Mission Day Camp. Somewhere in there they have found time to go to their own summer camps and family vacations. This summer they participated in God’s redemption of the world through serving underprivileged children, feeding the homeless, serving recovering addicts, being the primary caretakers of kids with disabilities, delivering meals to children, giving up weeks of their summer to sing, to dance, and to give themselves to what God is doing in the world. Our teenagers have been agents of hope and love this summer. If you see them, give them a high five!
We asked a couple of our youth to share their experiences. This first one is from a rising 8th grade boy, Sam Keenan, about his experience on our Houston Mission Trip:
“This summer was my first mission trip. I went into it thinking it was going to be awful. Much to my surprise it was a lot of fun! Everyday was a new experience, which was very cool. For example, one of the days we walked around Houston and talked to the homeless. We sat down with them and heard their stories, which was incredibly interesting. Another very cool experience was when we went to the Open Door Mission and talked with former addicts about their life. This was life-changing for me; this mission trip itself was life altering. The biggest thing I got out of this was to never take things for granted.”
This reflection comes from a rising senior, India Wentz, about her experience at Camp Barnabas:
“My week at Camp Barnabas was nothing like I pictured it was going to be. I imagined those six days to be challenging, fun and spiritual. But in actuality, they ended up being a thousand times past those expectations. It was the best feeling to wake up and just wonder what the day had in store for my campers and me. Even though camp tested my patience, responsibility, and ability to put others first over the week, it also managed to fill me with such joy in all physical, emotional, and spiritual ways possible. Camp taught me many things through the eyes of my campers, and made me grow so much more in my devotion to God. There were so many hard things throughout my week at camp, but the ultimate hardest thing was saying goodbye to it. I can’t wait to return next year to the place that seems like the closest representation of heaven itself.”
Truly the support you all show and the love you share is what makes these experiences possible. Our teenagers are incredible agents of God’s peace, hope, and love in the world. Thank you for your continued support and prayer as we seek to be in ministry with and for teenagers, participating in the hope of Christ!
Grace and Peace,