This trip was the third service experience that our Youth Ministry offered this summer. Including Mercy Camp and the mission trip to St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia held in June, approximately 120 Middle and High School teens have participated in experiencing what it’s like to serve others above self.
These types of experiences are important to forming our teens in their faith journey. By living their faith in ministry to others they better understand what it means to be Christ-like. By defying the common misperception that young people are self absorbed and materialistic, these teens chose to reach out beyond themselves by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and giving hope to those in need.
One of the places visited during the trip to Savannah was an inner city boys and girls club (yes, Savannah is more than the historic district). Here some of our youth worked with children to teach them arts and crafts and got to know them personally.
Two of the girls on the delegation used this experience to achieve the silver award badge for Girl Scouts by planning the event and collecting donations to leave behind. Others on the delegation did interior painting at homes that were being remodeled to house the homeless and worked in a Salvation Army clothing center sorting clothes. The trip wasn’t all work as they also had time to visit a beach and swim and tour some of the historic sites, all while they were building new friendships within the delegation and meeting youth from other delegations.
The bottom line for everyone on the trip was that the experience accomplished the goal of helping them understand better what was like to serve others while also providing an opportunity to meet new friends and build new relationships. All would do it again next year.