Our third week of summer missions was a little unconventional. We brought together students from several youth groups in Virginia along with several students from Fairmont and the surrounding cities. This meant a lot of the missionaries did not know each other before coming. They all did amazing. By the second day, you could no longer tell who was from the same youth group, because the team came together and served so powerfully.
Our worksite and community outreach efforts looked similar to previous weeks. The thing that stands out most from this week was the people we got to interact with and serve. On Monday, we went back to see Mrs. Linda and her husband Mr. Clyde. The students finished creating a path for the rain water and then they all gathered around Mr. Clyde's bed and sang to him. At one point, he woke up enough to look around and smile. On Tuesday, the students worked around Camp4Heroes, painting the shed, laying down flooring, and spreading joy all around.
On Wednesday, we left the camp and went to visit a church member from the church we helped out with Vacation Bible School in week 2. Mr. James is over 80 and living by himself. We showed up with rakes, saws, and trash bags. And in no time at all, the students went to work. They trimmed the trees, cleaned up the brush, pruned bushes and collected a lot of branches to clear out. Mr. James was very grateful, but we were the ones who were truly blessed. All the students crowded on the porch and sang. Mr. James joined in and then shared his testimony with us, praising the Lord for His constant and unrelenting love.
Thursday morning we went back to the community park to hold another pop-up vacation bible school. At this park, we met another amazing person. Ms. Minnie brought her children and then while they were playing, she shared with our team. Her life has not been without difficulties, but her joy and trust in the Lord shines through. Her story was an encouragement to all of us (and her kids were super cute).
At the end of each bible study, we have a time of planning on ways that the youth group can practically apply the things they just learned. Since this week was a combination of many churches, it looked a little different. During this time, some of the students from Great Neck Baptist shared their desire to have a Vacation Bible School at their church, but none of the adults were able to oversee and put one together. By the end of week, we had all agreed to join with the youth group from Great Neck and hold a week long Vacation Bible School during our last week of missions! Come back at week 6 to see how it went!
Overall, week 3 was a great week and a great way to finish out our time in Fairmont for the summer. Thank you to all the students who came out from more than 6 different churches to serve and glorify God.