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Summer 2023: Week 4 GCC and Gateway

Week 4 was another combination week over here at Empowering Youth 2 Serve! It was also our last week in North Carolina for the summer. We are over halfway done and back in Virginia! On Sunday the groups from Grace Community Church and Gateway Bible Church arrived. Grace Community (GCC) is Pastor Jeff's home church; this is where Empowering Youth 2 Serve started! Gateway Bible Church was the first church from North Carolina that partnered with us. One of our leaders this summer, Connor, is originally from Gateway. We had such a blast with these two amazing youth groups.

The groups teamed up right away, and it was very quickly hard to remember who was from which group! They played games and then got down to getting ready for the week ahead. Since this was our last week in Fairmont, we had a lot to do.

Our worksites this week focused on finishing up the projects that the students from the last three weeks had worked so hard on. The students took away the last piles of branches from Mr. James' yard. They screwed covers onto the wall in Ms. Paula's workplace. And they put up the last sections of fence at Ms. Linda's. Because the worksites are spread out over several weeks, so many students get to come together to do a larger project than they could have done in one week. Coming together as the body of Christ allows us to serve in bigger ways than we could have on our own.

This was also our last Vacation Bible School in the community park in Fairmont. Some of the kids who came have been coming to VBS since week 1. They have been loved on and poured into by over 60 kids over the past month. We will miss them, but we are so grateful for this chance to get to know them. The skits for this last VBS told the story of Joseph, focusing in on the forgiveness and reconcilation between him and his brothers. The storytime team split the story in 2 parts over the 2 days. Each day after they finished their skit, the kids who came joined them on the stage and helped to act it out again. Everyone had an amazing time.

Every time we are in Fairmont, we are always so grateful for Camp4Heroes and how they have welcomed us. Captain Woody is always such a light, and this week he shared some of his story with the students, encouraging them to follow God in all things. Thank you GCC and Gateway for an amazing week! And thank you Camp4Heroes for hosting us again! Bye Fairmont, Norfolk here we come!!

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