A Day in the Life

By Gaye Lynn Loufek, Director of Youth Ministries

Grace Youth Ministry has a long-standing tradition of traveling each summer on a mission trip, serving in partnering communities: sharing gifts, time, talent, and love.  During that week of Side x Side, the team becomes a family through prayer, devotion, worship, hard work, sweat, laughter, and even tears.  

One of the highlights of Side x Side is celebrating the high school graduates, those students who have been traveling with us from the time they were in eighth grade.  These youth often come to us their first year and have never held a hammer or led a Bible story.  By the time they are seniors, they are role models and leaders.

Though we were not able to travel, celebrating these fine young people was a priority for our Side x Side team.  On Thursday, July 30, at 7 p.m., many of our team gathered in the lower parking lot of Grace for a socially-distanced "day in the life" of Side x Side.  

In our short time together, we shared in a "morning" devotion, completed two mission projects, shared in worship, and honored our seniors with a traditional college student-led worship and the gifting of senior blankets.

Each person in attendance received a personalized mission bag. With the supplies needed in the bag, we were able to create masks for youth experiencing temporary homelessness living in group homes with KidsAboveAll (formerly ChildServ)*, and personal cards to be delivered with food/supplies for elderly folks receiving assistance through the Common Pantry in Chicago**.

Words of wisdom were shared with our seniors by parents, Side x Side attendees, siblings, & friends.  We closed our evening with a Side x Side staple--popsicles. Even though our time in the mission field was cut short this summer, God has a way of bringing us together when it counts the most.  May we always remember who we are and whose we are!

* Learn more about KidsAboveAll (formerly ChildServ) at www.kidsaboveall.org

** Learn more about Common Pantry in Chicago at www.commonpantry.org/