Dear Church Family,
Thank you so much for your prayers and support during the youth mission trip to Ohio. We had a great time. The night we arrived we we split from our group into "work crew" with five other people from five different youth groups. We worked with these crews at the work sites painting, scraping, priming, nailing, drilling, and an other tasks needed. Each person in our youth group was able to meet five new people, so by the end of the week we had 50 new friends.
Each work crew had a resident that received their help. Each day the resident was invited to devotionals held by the work crews. Some residents came and some did not. I remember Susan telling me that her resident rarely had anything to do with her crew, until the last day. At close to finishing time, Susan's resident came out and talked to her. They talked and talked and continued talking. Even though it took the resident all week to warm up to Susan's crew, they were able to make an impact for Christ, and it was shown in a talkative way.
Not only did we participate in physical labor we had a program every night where we interacted with that day's theme. Here is a list of the themes:
1. Love Out Loud Risks
2. Love Out Loud Serves
3. Love Out Loud Multiplies
4. Love Out Loud Forgives
5. Love Out Loud Lasts
During these programs we saw skits and videos and listened to Roy present how we can Love Out Loud. The programs were simple, but grounded, they lacked all the glamour normally associated with these kinds of events, and just presented truth. Our youth, and adults, responded maturely and thoughtfully to the presentations and took serious time on day four to examine themselves. I am positive that each of us has returned home with a new revelation or commitment to God.
Needless to say, this week was a difficult week for work as it rained three out of five workdays, but the kids responded with stubborn determination, and out of a little more than 50 worksites, 34 were finished, and over 11,000 man hours were given to the good people of mid-Ohio. After experiencing such incredible events and giving so much to the Lord, he was gracious and gave back to us a renewed spirit, a refreshed commitment, and a reignited passion. The 10 from our church that returned from Ohio are not the same 10 that left. Ask anyone of us and we will share our experiences and our new zeal. Those that went are: Bill, Loren, Randy, Jesse, Susan, Roy, Laura Faith, Micalah, Sara, Sarah, and myself.
Upon returning we have all made commitments individually and as a group to "Love Out Loud" here in our community and we hope that our spirit is contagious. Again thank you for all your prayers and we hope you will join us as we "Love Out Loud" here in Maryville.
In Christ Alone,
P.S. Ask Randy and Bill how it feels to be completely destroyed in air hockey by yours truly.