Youth Summer Missions 2017
By Gaye Lynn Loufek
“We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV
The summer of 2017 provided much opportunity for our youth and adults to be God’s hands and feet. In June, 74 youth and adults traveled to Birmingham, AL,
to partner with Habitat for Humanity to refurbish and build homes. God and the Holy Spirit were ever present! Friendships were made; tears were shed; laughter abounded; and work was done!
During the week, we had the blessing of not only working with our hands but filling our hearts. We heard stories from the homeowners, met people in the community through a local church day camp for children, listened to a pastor share his faith journey, and were fed and celebrated by a local church and gospel choir.
Our Side x Side theme was Change, based on the Scripture, 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.” While we hoped to travel to Birmingham and make a change for the people there, we can’t help but realize how Birmingham changed us!
In July, 28 junior high youth and adult mentors brought hope to our own community working with Feed My Starving Children, Fox Valley Habitat, Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry, the Northern Illinois Food Bank, and visiting with “pillars” of Grace and learning history of Naperville and Grace Church.
Our theme for Hope @ Home was A.S.A.P. While in the secular world that means As Soon As Possible, to us for the week it meant, Always Say A Prayer or (Always Stop And Pray). We talked and learned about many different ways of praying, complete with finger lights helping us to pray the 5-finger prayer. We discovered that while the world might view the acronym as stated above, we as Christians should pay heed. If in all things we Always Stop And Pray (or Always Say A Prayer) As Soon As Possible, God will lighten our load and, together with Him, all things are possible.
Hope @ Home offers the same opportunity as Side x Side for relationship building, laughter, hard work and God sightings. We know these opportunities would not be possible if it were not for our Church family. We THANK YOU for your unending support through prayer, monetary donation, fundraising support, and love.
God is the constant in a world of change. He will carry us through that change, A.S.A.P.