Archive

Tag: Youth Mission

June 29, 2018

 

Recently, our high school youth were in Guatemala, helping out in schools, bringing musical instruments to students and more. Here are a few photos from their week away.

“The Guatemala mission trip was such an eye opening experience for us as youth, showing that happiness does not come from substance. We saw people living in a beautiful country surrounded by features that aren’t commonly seen in the US (i.e. volcanoes), and children growing up with things that we would consider worn down or cheap. It was amazing to see how we learned that we could benefit the lives of the people by our presence and assistance instead of our money.” – Riley Williamson

 

“My experience in Guatemala was life changing. I loved traveling throughout the beautiful mountain ranges, meeting the amazing Spanish and Mayan speaking natives.” – Charlie Riddick

You can view all the photos from the trip here.

July 28, 2017

Day 1

Today was our first full day in Baltimore and we started our day with worship at Faith Presbyterian Church. Experiencing a different type of service showed us that people live in different environments then we do. After the service we went on a justice tour of Baltimore. This tour showed us the various sides of Baltimore and how drastic they can change from block to block. We also saw glimpses of Baltimore that are not always shown on the news.

We still have a full week ahead of us and much more to look forward too. We are extremely excited for this upcoming week of VBS.

-Reid Bond and Brad Hull

 

Day 2

Today the group worked at the camp for the first time. We played with kids in the park from the neighborhood and started to form relationships along the way. Everywhere you looked you could see Charlotte boys giving piggyback rides to children and girls holding kids in their laps.

The love that we saw in the neighborhood inspired energy in us that helped get us through a long, hot day. Grateful for the love and hospitality this neighborhood is sharing with us.

-Ansley Nurkin and Kimberly Morgan

 

Day 3

As the week progresses, our days are going by faster and we are getting to the know the kids better and better. Our relationships with them are strengthening but our bodies are definitely worn out by the many piggy back rides and pushing kids on swings.

Our theme this week has been crossing boundaries and making ourselves aware of the boundaries in both Baltimore and in our hometown. We have not only crossed physical boundaries this week but also boundaries of fear and acceptance. It has been a growing week for all of us and look forward to seeing where God is at work.

-Will Hull and Cam Peterson

Day 4

We have seen God in the children of the community and the many people that are helping them.

God is at work through a lady named Phyllis who is the ambassador of the neighborhood. Her love and care for the McCabe-Woodbourne community is astounding. There is too much to say about her in this post but let’s just say every neighborhood needs a Phyllis.

God is also at work in the methadone clinic that provides services to the neighbors and other homeless addicts in need. As they heal, they nurture the neighborhood garden with one another.

Lastly, no doubt that God is smiling as he observes strangers becoming friends, hearts softening and boundaries dissolving.

-Twyshanti Elmore, Natalie Raygor and Mary Scott Peterson

Day 5

As we reflect on this past week, each of us have been transformed by the children and adults of the McCabe-Woodbourne neighborhood. Each of us left a piece of our heart in the neighborhood where boundaries were crossed, memories were made to never be forgotten and the love of Christ was shared by all.

We truly lived our church’s motto in this city: For Christ in the heart of…Baltimore.

– Natalie Raygor and Mary Scott Peterson

June 23, 2016

Haiti Group 1974

This Sunday during worship, we’ll recognize a dozen people from around the country who were part of the first international mission trip for youth in 1974—a trip to Haiti so profound that participants have traveled from across the country for a reunion during worship here on Sunday.

“It was eye-opening,” said Ben Williams, who celebrated his sixteenth birthday during that mission trip. “Our senses came alive to the plight of this poverty-stricken island.”

You can watch video from that trip more than 40 years ago, a mission trip that continues to echo for Ben and the other participants who are gathered in Charlotte this weekend, including Nel Hobbie (Hill), Eve Baker (Bennett), Elizabeth Barefoot (Vinson), Betsy Barry (Dreier), Charlie Durham, Jeff Gaines, Tom Higgins, Kathrine Horn (Coggins), Amy Petris (Capps), Dick Ridenhour, Ken Roberts and Kay Sullivan (Johnston). Dorathy Stewart (Link) will be unable to attend.

 

June 22, 2016
ID-10026194
Photo by Nuchylee

During last week’s mission trip to Atlanta, six First Pres middle schoolers wrote prayers to capture their reactions to all that they had experienced and learned. Excerpts of their prayers are found in this week’s issue of FirstNEWS. Here are their prayers.

Gracious God, Watch over all your children in the days to come but in particular watch over those who are struggling with homelessness, who are out on the streets, weary, hot, and in despair. And in particular, watch over those individuals we have met this week, over Teddy, and Davis, and the Cleveland Cav fan, Isaiah and his brother, the fortune teller, and those at the Urban Recipe who are working so hard to provide for their families. Keep us always mindful of them: help us to keep it going.

Lord, hear our prayer.

I pray that people struggling in any way will have faith that everything will be all right. I pray that one day, the violence that has emerged on this planet will cease. I pray that people will learn to love one another regardless of how they look, their sexuality, or their beliefs.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Help our friends on the street find guidance to a better life. Make sure that no one else enters homelessness. Help the hurting and the sick get over their troubles.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Thank you for all that we have. And please help all of our friends to guide them to getting a job. Help them off the street and under a shelter. Give them water to cool themselves off and quench their thirst on these hot days. And food to feed them.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Please be with us as we go out into the world. We pray for those who are experiencing homelessness, we pray for the people that are ill/sick.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Please be with those at Loaves & Fishes, Urban Recipe, and Gateway. Also please be with those who are out on the streets tonight living an unfair and “abnormal” life. Also please be with those sick and injured and need your help. Help these people to take flight. Also help me with my worries and stress and to have a safe rest of the trip. Be with those to not be afraid at night and help them to find food resources in the morning.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Please be with all the homeless people who are on the street with nowhere to go. Please help me, Lord, with not getting homesick…Thank you for giving me a roof over my head and food in my belly. Thank you, Lord, for everything.

Lord, hear our prayer.

I pray that I will not go home and return to status quo but rather that I have the faith to see and the courage to do what is right. I pray that I remember.

Lord, hear our prayer.  Lord, please hear our prayer. 

In the strong name of Christ, Amen.

June 21, 2016

Mexico Mission 2016 day 5 2We woke up to another beautiful sunny day at VIM. Everyone was eager to finish the walk way we had been working on all week. After countless buckets of sand, gravel and cement, we finally finished the path and were able to sign our names, making our mark on VIM just as VIM made a mark on us.

We packed up and cleaned what had been our temporary home for the past week. It was bittersweet saying goodbye to our gracious hosts and all the students that had become family. Off to Cancun we went. Everyone enjoyed the pool at the hotel in the afternoon and a great dinner in downtown Cancun.

The theme this week was stretching our faith, and there is no doubt that was accomplished in many different ways by spending time with the children, breaking down language barriers with those of all ages, and putting in hard work everyday despite the weather conditions. Our last day was full of laughter and affirmations of each others’ skills and abilities and we will no doubt never forget this trip. Not only has our faith been stretched but it will continue to be stretched into our everyday lives at home in Charlotte.

Signing off from the dream team –

– Kyle, Stevie, Alex, Jack, William, and Caroline Hace calor!!

Mexico Mission 2016 day 5 4

 

June 20, 2016

Youth Mexico Day 4Day 4: Three cheers for a work day with no rain, but still enough cloud cover to not be scorching hot, and enough sun to dry things off!

The sidewalk is looking good! We are all experts now in mixing concrete, shoveling and creating assembly lines to pass buckets of dirt, gravel, rocks, and concrete. We are also getting to know each other better as we stand in our lines passing buckets. Lots of stories and laughter helping the time pass!

As much fun as we are having, we are also being stretched by having to get up early and work with our sore muscles and dirty, tired bodies. Then, as we head to Vacation Bible School, it is rejuvenating as we are greeted by the smiling faces of the kids so excited to see us with nothing but love in their sweet eyes. At the end of our day, behind every smiling face of our youth and advisors, we can also see the exhaustion. But because our group is so amazing, we just keep pushing onward and ‘stretching our faith’!!

– Group One and Done, Adele Campbell, Jack Perrin, Alex Glontz, Abigail Giles, Davis Ryan, Davis McMillan, Rand Ayer and Kelli Mallory

June 19, 2016
mexicoday3 13Our faith today was stretched by lots of rain and mud. We woke up at 6:30, had breakfast and waited for the rain to break. Alas, that moment never came.
We worked for a solid few hours of drizzle, shoveling buckets and wheelbarrows of rock and dirt to help form a sidewalk. When the rain got heavier, we took a break for lunch before ending the day with another hour of work.
By quitting time, every member of our group was soaked to the bone and covered in mud. Stretching our faith, indeed!
We took much-appreciated showers before a long nap and siesta.
Vacation bible school brought more fun times with the local children, where we made bracelets, painted faces and played ball. VBS was topped off with our hilarious attempt at a David and Goliath skit in Spanish. We ended our day with spaghetti, volleyball and soccer.
And kudos to Rand Ayer as he is chasing down giant moths with a broom while we write this.
Our bedtime prayer is to ask God for sun and to thank him for our small group not having to empty the bathroom trash again tomorrow.
Farewell from Group 5!
Abigail Justis, Margaret Lloyd, John Owens, Henry Moldenhauer, Colin Perrin and Carson Rogers
mexico rainWhat an amazing day! We started the day with a good meal to prepare our bodies for some hard work as we helped lay concrete for the new dining hall. As part of the process we move the large rocks and buckets of dirt to help fill in the bottom layers before topping it off with concrete.
A rain shower cut our workday short and allowed us to take a respite for lunch. After a nice siesta we headed to a nearby church where we got to play with the local children. What a treat! The language barrier proved to be but a small challenge as smiles and laughter were plenty.
Our particular small work group talked saw God in various ways today:
  • helping out with vacation Bible school
  • God answered our want for rain
  • blowing bubbles with a little girl
  • communicating and playing games with local children without being able to speak Spanish well
  • accomplished a lot of work before the rain came
  • working together to pass buckets of concrete
Adios,
Mitchell Austin, Davy Rayner, Michael Shropshire, Will Hull, Anna Catherine Pandos and Andrew Glontz
mexicoday2 3

atlanta final croppedI saw God in almost everything we did this week, but especially in the people we met and worked with. I loved how grateful and happy most of our neighbors that were struggling with homelessness were to see us helping. I thought it was so amazing that even in their situation, they were so thankful and kind.

Overall, this week was an awesome week and I learned so much about life in general from so many different people. I learned that I might have been on this trip to help others but they certainly helped me by sharing their stories and
faithfulness.

– Cam

June 17, 2016

cropped mexico mission tripWe made it!! It’s hot but all is good! We were excited to meet all the new people and children at VIM and play some games of volleyball, soccer and basketball with them. We are in the wonderful presence of Oscar Jr and Roger. Roger is the bomb…we are excited to work with him this week!

We are looking forward to stretching our faith and experiencing new things!

The hammocks are beautiful and actually really comfortable. After a good night sleep we will be able to have a great day of work. Be on the lookout for more from us tomorrow!

– Natalie Raygor