Youth Summer Missions 2022: Learn, Teach, Share, Nurture, Work

By Gaye Lynn Loufek

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”    Philippians 1:6

This was the theme verse of Side x Side and Hope @ Home 2022. Our overall theme? UNFINISHED!

From Wednesday, June 15, through Saturday, June 18, we saw construction orange and neon lime green (the color of our t-shirts), as people of varying skill sets and ages ventured into the mission field in the Chicagoland area.

Serving locally did nothing to change the enthusiasm, commitment, dedication, and focus of the teams we have come to know as Side x Side and Hope @ Home.  

During our time together, we had the opportunity to learn, teach, nurture, share, and work very hard. 

Projects consisted of partnerships with Feed My Starving Children, Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity, the Conservation Foundation, Seager Park in Naperville, the Common Pantry in Chicago, and our own Grace UMC.

Various tasks were completed: a house has new siding, a park was freed of invasive plants, a food pantry has fully stocked shelves and was cleaned top to bottom, a new fence was built, and 70 families will be fed in Haiti. The work of one was minimized through abundant helping hands, and the hearts of many were touched.

Side x Side and Hope @ Home are not workcamps, as some might suspect. Youth Summer Missions at Grace is a relationship-building experience.

As our theme often reminded us, our greatest relationship is with God, and we are so grateful that He is not “finished” with us. 

UNFINISHED — we can’t wait to see what God has in store and, together with Him, what we will be called to do!