July is here, and our two mission trips are behind us! They are not gone, however. Our students return with many stories to tell! A huge thank you goes out to Jeff and Reneé Kinder for leading the high school trip to Boston. Lou Secary also answered the call as an adult leader and provided great spiritual leadership to our students.
I went on the middle school trip to Harrisburg, and I'd love to share a personal reflection. For most of our middle schoolers, this was their first mission trip. The apprehension was palpable the first night. Was it going to be boring? Stupid? Overly spiritual? As the week progressed, it was amazing to see those fears slowly melt away. On the last night, one girl commented, "I didn't realize that this week was actually going to be fun!" That's a win in my book.
My biggest fear heading into the trip was that our students would serve, hang out, and have some fun, but not understand the deeper purpose for the trip. Serving the Kingdom of God, whether you're playing with city kids or sorting frozen Brussels sprouts, makes a huge impact. We serve because Jesus served. He modeled the humility that we should emulate each and every day.
Many students' favorite work site of the week was at Deb's house. Deb is the kindest, sweetest, and most giving ladies that our students met this week. Always quick to give a hug (and a snack!), she showed her true appreciation for the work the students did in her home She and her husband have been living like hoarders since a pipe bursted and flooded their basement a few years back. The clutter had gotten to a point where their grandchildren were no longer safe to spend time in their home. Our students made a remarkable amount of progress, clearing out the main living areas and repairing the damage in the basement. It's amazing to see real tangible progress and the amazing impact it had on one family's life.
Be sure to check out a few pictures from the trips! Another huge thank you to the other adult leaders on the middle school trip - Dave Bennett, Annette Bjorntvedt, and Rachel Bennett. Also, come to church on August 17, where our student mission teams will be sharing about their experiences!
Danae is the Director of Youth Ministries at KIUMC. She has a B.A. in Culinary Arts and Service Management from Paul Smiths College in Paul Smiths, NY. She has attended KIUMC for the past 8 years. Danae enjoys cooking, spending time with family and friends, and is a complete Disney Fanatic.