Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Urban Missions through the Eyes of Youth

Youth groups from 3 churches have participated this summer in mini-mission trips to the Mission Adelante neighborhood. Amber Donoho, from Shoal Creek Community church wrote the following reflections about her experience helping to lead one of the Kids' Club activities in a local park.

Reflections by Amber Donoho
"At first when I get to the building I have a dinner sandwich and I'm so nervous. I don't know what to really expect when I get there. Two ladies come in to the room and explain to us what we are doing and it surprises me. I knew we were coming there to see kids and play soccer and things like that, but I didn't know we were actually talking to them in English and singing songs. I became a little more nervous when the lady said some of the children might be scared of us or not talk any English at all. When we loaded up in the cars to go to the park I prayed for God to free all of my worries and I will be myself. I also prayed to magically remember the few years I had played soccer. I knew that these younger kids are going to look up to us and know that we are friends to them not enemies.

"When I get to the park there are just a few people there. I start getting butterflies again about how I'm going to converse with these children. So I hang with my friends for a little bit and start drawing with chalk with a little girl named Jasmine. It was fun to see her smile. After that we went to split off into our groups of activities. I was assigned to be in the soccer group and I realized these kids are really good at soccer. It was so fun to watch the kids play soccer with smiles on their faces. The effort they put into it is so great that it takes their minds off of everything else that goes on in their lives. When they got hurt by the soccer ball they didn't even flinch, but I guess they have be tougher to live here.

"Later on, we all went to the shaded corner of the park to sing "Big House". It was so fun because I knew all the words and I got to teach the hand signs. When I'm up there I feel happy and energetic. When the kids started catching on I felt so happy and worth something in these kids' lives. When you look down into each of the kid's eyes, you see a little glimmer of something that makes your heart heavy with feeling. You can't help but go home, cry, and feel like, " Wow, have I really made that much of a difference?" It's mind boggling to know that these kids will remember these few days of happiness. That God is really there for them no matter what and nothing can change that. I also know that I can never forget these memories as long as I live because this journey has brought me closer to God than I have been in a long time. So, I thank this program for changing my life and others."

In other news:
  • "Thank you" to the 22 Heartland Community Church interns that spent the day last Saturday painting the recently sheet rocked walls in our facility!
  • Mission Adelante staff were encouraged to spend about four days last week with Brandon Martin and three others from "The Bridge Hispanic Ministry" in Hickory, North Carolina. They came to observe our outreach strategies and learn from our experiences.
  • Our Resource Center is overflowing with items available to community families in need! We're normally open each Saturday morning for people to come and select items they can use. We had our best turnout yet last Saturday morning when about ten families benefited from donated goods, several of whom inquired about volunteering as a way to give back.

Prayer needs:

  • Tomorrow Megan M. and six preteen neighborhood girls will resume the Purity Bible study they met for last summer. Please pray for the girls to participate with authenticity and to go deep in the study.
  • Please pray for God to raise up more volunteers for the Leaders In Training program during the upcoming school year, and to continue to develop our worship team by inspiring members of our community to become involved.
  • Pray for Alberto, who has been a part of our community for about a year and a half and shows potential for church leadership. Jarrett and Jason are beginning to equip him to preach at our worship celebration, with a goal of preaching his first sermon in September.

Current needs:

  • We're collecting school supplies to distribute to about 60 community kids in August. It would be most helpful for backpacks to come already stocked with all the supplies an elementary school student will need. Those items are listed below. Could you organize a "Backpack Drive" for your church or group?

500 sheets wide lined notebook paper
5 wide lined spiral notebooks
4 glue sticks (keep in package)
1 - 8 oz. bottle Elmer's glue (no blue glue)
1 small zippered bag for pencils
1 pkg. erasable pens (blue or black)
5 pocket folders
1 box colored pencils
1 ruler
2 "Sharpie" markers
2 pkgs. 3 x 5 index cards
1 red felt tip pen
1 pkg. #2 pencils
2 boxes crayons (24)
1 pair small scissors

  • A portable CD player "boom box" for use with the kids on Sunday nights
  • A washer and dryer for a family in our community

Important upcoming dates:

  • Monday, August 3 @ 6:30 p.m. Volunteer Team Meeting at the Mission
  • Sunday, August 9: Trimester-end Party

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