Updated: Oct 25, 2019
July 13th, 2019-This week we had a blast with students from Grace Community Church and Norview Baptist Church! It was so amazing to watch over the course of a week how youth from both of these churches grew and bonded together.
New situations arose this week that set it apart from previous weeks. First, we had the combined youth groups of two different churches on one mission trip. The EY2S staff always love it when we can do this because it shows student missionaries that the body of Christ is bigger than just their church. We can all come together, serve the Lord and others, and learn from one another no matter where we come from. We were blessed that the two churches are both very dear to us; Grace Community is the church where Jeff serves as Youth Pastor, and Norview Baptist Church is where our offices are located.
Another unique factor about this week is our location for the week. For the past four years, our summer operations have been housed at our ministry partner, Urban Discovery Ministries. Unique situations occurred this week that we hope will move us forward as a ministry. This week we conducted a test week at Norview Baptist Church to consider what it is like to do missions there. We love UDM and will continue to do our remaining weeks of missions at the Curt Center, as well as maintain our partnership with UDM. As we grow this ministry, we want to have as many options available to us as possible. We are in prayer that the Lord will open up doors to what he has in store for us.
Looking at the kids we worked with this week, the whole staff is so proud of them for all of their growth. The vast majority of the students are quieter and more reserved. Stepping up on prayer walks, asking people if they could pray for them, praying in front of others, or reading aloud, intimidated many students.
The Lord moved powerfully this week to overcome any fears. Every day, we saw all of these students step out of their comfort zone and do all of these things. Students made new friends across youth groups. Some who have just started coming to church grew in their faith and made friends within their youth group, and students who haven’t asked questions before have started searching for answers.
This week we continued to work on the fence and the tiling at Mrs. Arlene’s house. Now we are using the tile as baseboards to create a clean finish around her kitchen. The floor is completely done. Students used the tile cutter to carefully cut the tile to the correct height and length for an even border around the room.
In the backyard, the students took the frame and cross beams built by the last group and worked on screwing in fence boards on both sides of the fence. The entire right side of the fence is now finished. The next group of student missionaries coming in will be able to finish the fence and tiling at Mrs. Arlene's house completely. We have been so blessed to be able to help her out this summer!
The painting that previous churches did in classrooms at Norview Baptist church blessed us this week. Those classrooms housed the missionaries and leaders for this week. We took a break on continuing to paint the hallway and instead painted two of the rooms in Norview Baptist’s youth classrooms baby blue.
At VBS we continued the study of the Fruit of the Spirit. We did something different this week. In storytime VBS we retold a Bible Story or parable, but then put it into a modern context so that the summer camp students could understand it better. Students told the story of the battle of Jericho and the parable of the unmerciful servant. In crafts, students made doves, clocks and peace signs to help remember the Fruits of patience and peace.
This week we were also blessed to have the pastors from both Grace Community Church and Norview Baptist Church, along with members from both congregations, come to visit and pray for the missionaries. It was such a blessing to see both youth groups supported by their church bodies throughout the week.
As Laura reflected on what she learned this week, she said, "I need to be more joyful and more prayerful, and that God is more powerful than I originally thought."
Destiny said that when she gets home, she wants to grow her quiet time. She said, "I don’t normally read a lot of scripture because I don’t either make time for it or I don’t feel I have the time for it, but I guess I could set aside time to actually just sit down and have a moment with God and pray and each day increase the time."
We were blessed this week that one of the youth leaders that joined us on our trip is Mrs. Anita, Jeff's wife. Her support of Jeff is what makes the whole summer possible and we were so happy to have her.
The EY2S Staff thanks Pastor Jeff Luchun, the rest of the church leadership and congregation at Norview Baptist for letting us have a test week at the church and share the building with them. They have been so gracious to us and we love having NBC as a ministry partner.