St. Paul's youth group gives week of service to rural community
During the summer, 36 youth with seven chaperones under the guidance of teacher Laurie Lenz from St. Paul Lutheran Church in Westlake were able to participate in a life-changing YouthWorks Christian Mission Trip to the community of Warrensburg, N.Y., in the Adirondack Mountains.
The youth assisted with painting homes, helping on farms, making a mosaic in a neighboring town, creating a garden in rocky soil, setting up a rummage sale, trimming greenery, cutting down trees, helping people and sharing the love of Jesus. Having morning quiet time for devotions and Bible servant-based discussions in the evenings really made a difference as each person shared the miracles of that day.
According to youth member Emilie Hausmann, “It was refreshing to see how this small community functioned as a whole unit and how connected and caring God made them.”
The truly loving people in the communities and the hospitality they shared were unbelievable. Youth Julie Jenkins shared, “The trip impacted me by teaching me to be patient and also grateful…God has shown me to love my life and do for others…I can’t wait until I can go on my next Mission Trip.”
Chaperone Lisa Sherman added, “The community works together to make their town great. They welcomed and accepted us at every job and encouraged us along the way.”
Helping others is truly an amazing and life-changing experience. The youth and adults grew in being positive, grateful and awed by God’s wonders in nature and ministry to others.
The special foot-washing ceremony at the end of the week of service really moved hearts as the YouthWorks leaders washed the adult leaders’ feet followed by the adults washing the youths’ feet as Christ had washed his disciples’ feet to share the true meaning of servanthood. Then Amanda Stephens and some of her “friends decided to wash the YouthWorks leaders’ feet to show that God loved them too, and that we really appreciated everything they did that week for us.”