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Archive for September, 2014

Itineration and the journey back to the Congo

As I mentioned in my most recent blog, it was fitting that our Youth Mission Trip led worship on the same weekend that Rev. Kristy and Larry Schmitz returned to the DRC. Here’s their story. Best wishes for Year #3 and we look forward to hearing more from you and seeing you again next summer.

schmitzinthecongo

We spent 2 months this “Summer” talking at churches and getting lots of hugs from relatives and friends.

We spoke at four different Mission U's of the United Methodist women as part of our "itineration" experience. We spoke at four different Mission U’s of the United Methodist women as part of our “itineration” experience.

We were able to reconnect with many fiends and family friends as we attended two very important weddings that happened during our time in the United States.  We were able to reconnect with many fiends and family friends as we attended two very important weddings that happened during our time in the United States.

Reconnecting with our three granddaughters was the highlight of our time in America. Reconnecting with our three granddaughters was the highlight of our time in America.

We were able to attend a great theatrical production at Benton House in Lee's Summit, Missouri. We were able to attend a great theatrical production at Benton House in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

It was fun watching another of our granddaughters give 59 year old Dobbin a workout at Great Grandma's house. It was fun watching another of our granddaughters give 59 year old Dobbin a workout at Great Grandma’s house.

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Papa was loving this. Papa was loving this.

Our visit was not all play with no work. Kristy was in charge of displays and Larry worked on technology as we made visits to 22 different locations and made over 30 talks. Our visit was not all play with no work. Kristy was in charge of displays and Larry worked on technology as we made visits to 22 different locations and made over 30 talks.

We leaped at the chance to go to a Royal's game and also have some time with relatives from Iowa. We leaped…

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Mission Trip message

On Sunday morning, the group that attended the Youth Mission Trip to St. Joseph led worship and I provided the message. Normally, they record the sermon but for some reason that didn’t work so I’m attempting to recreate it here through text and photos.

Group Photo - Youth Mission Trip to St. Joseph

The scripture verse for the Youth Mission Trip was from Luke 10:27 (Common English Bible) “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”

This year’s Mission Trip was to St. Joseph, Missouri.  We chose this destination because we knew we were going to have several younger youth on this year’s trip and that it would keep it closer to home.

This year’s theme was … Life Defined  God gives us very clear directions about how to live a full life. But what is a full life? Life Defined will help participants discern what this full life is and how we can live as God calls us to, what it means to live faithfully, and how we can share the freedom found in Christ with the world.

Abby Wimberly sings O Happy Day

Each morning we had a morning devotion that focused on a portion of this verse.  During evening worship, we’d also hear a testimony from one of the CCYM (Conference Council on Youth Ministry) youth on one of these topics.

Plus, we’d also enjoy music.  In fact, each evening, the worship service started with Abby Wimberley leading us in singing “Oh Happy Day”

Auntie M

“Auntie M” added that her favorite moment from the week was watching the youth grow spiritually & mentally as well as all of us working together & feeling the spirit work within them.

Each day at lunchtime or churchtime (which is held every evening) we would talk about the day and where we’d seen God at work which we referred to us God Moments .

Then, those would be shared with the bigger group at evening worship with one person representing each congregation.

Picking up Paint Chips Violet sweeping the area

On Monday, Sophie & Abby represented us and spoke about working with the Youth Pastor from Morningstar UMC (in St. Louis area) in doing painting & scraping on the roof of the porch.  On Tuesday, Skyeler Senior (one of our free agents) shared on our behalf.  Finally, on Wednesday, Emilio represented us.

AUMC ladies in St. Jo - Megan, Stella, Savannah, Sophie, Jennie, Violet and Maddie

Plus, we also had mail call (hold up mailbox) where we had Notes of encouragement, that were sent by Nancy Mehl and delivered to us by Violet Cogswell.

Maddie & Jennie clearing brush

On Wednesday night, during our “church time” we asked each of the youth to share a memory or favorite moment from the week.   These covered a variety of experiences, some related to Missions work while others were related to the other parts of the week.

Mark in dumpster Dylan cleaning dumpster

Working in the dumpster, we retrieved scrap metal to help fund InterServ and we made room for more brush.

Thrift Shop #3 Thrift Shop #2

Some of the projects were related to our work projects such as … Helping ladies set up thrift shop & moving from one place to another

Mulch - Skyler Emilio and Skyler working on shelves

Building shelves & Mulching at playground

Skyler and Emilio after removing wood

breaking piece of wood (huge)

Stella and Megan sweeping

Here was a group spreading some of the mulch and of course I told them that they’re now well-trained to help Dave Garrett and his crew with the next outdoor clean-up.

Sophie, Jorden and Abby

Some of the memories of the trip included …

  • Meeting old friends
  • Meeting new friends such as those from Morningstar UMC
  • Meeting new people & getting to work with them

Basketball - Emilio, Jenny, Stella and Skyler

We also took breaks for fun such as playing basketball , went roller skating, and attended Chiefs Training Camp

Mateo and his skateboard

We enjoyed breaks in local parks and some even got to enjoy the local skate park although Mateo snapped his board.   The group also enjoyed eating ice cream on a couple of occasions, first at the local St. Joseph ice cream store and later at the local Dairy Queen, which was a 1st for one of our youth.

3 Amigos painting the building3 Amigos with brush clean-up

I shared that my memory of this trip would be related to it being our largest Youth Mission Trip.   I’m proud that it’s part of our 100th anniversary year; out of 14 youth, we have 5 veterans (returning youth) as well as 2 free agents (invited by others) & 7 rookies.  Skyeler Senior was one of those free agents  and he is seen on the ladder in the photo on the left.

Jenny, Megan and Stella painting Abby painting InterServ Painting in St. JoPainting complete

Mission Trips frequently include painting.  In this case, we were painting the InterServ building (which they’d just obtained from Wonder Bread) and, of course some said their top memory was getting covered in paint

Sophie on the Roof

This photo was related to Sophie’s God Moment when she was up on the roof top.

Dylan and local worker Skyeler Sr shares God Moment

Favorite moments:

  • Their faces when receiving prayer shawl
  • When breaking metal from shelves & talking with Kyle
  • Giving prayer shawls to Randy & Kyle

Kyle receives prayer shawl

As many of you already know, we have a tradition of bringing prayer shawls with us when we go on a Youth Mission Trip.  These were dedicated at our Mission Fair on July 20th.  The Senior High decided to present a prayer shawl to Kyle, who had worked side-by-side with several of our youth to tear metal off of shelves and that metal was then used as part of their scrap metal project.

Randy with his prayer shawl

The Mid-High chose to give a prayer shawl to Randy who had been in charge of InterServ and all of the Missions projects.

Praying for Randy

One of the favorite memories of the trip was “feeling Randy’s soft head”

Plus, several of the youth cited their favorite moments of the trip had to do with presenting these prayer shawls and seeing the reactions of the recipients.

2014 Mark Whitaker ice bucket challenge

Sometimes you can be a good neighbor by raising funds or awareness  for others and last weekend, I was inspired to do so by Anna Graft and Aaron Stewart, two of our alumni who have also worked at Camp Wilderness.

Of course, serving our neighbor isn’t limited to a Mission Trip; our youth and members of the Men’s Club will be in the neighborhood delivering phone books this Saturday.  Yes, it’s a fundraiser but it also provides information to those living in the neighborhood.

 

In a few weeks, the youth are going to participate in One God, One Day, One Love where we will be serving in another neighborhood.  And in mid-October, we will be involved with the Festival of Sharing which is an opportunity for all of us to be involved in being a good neighbor to people throughout Missouri.

In closing …

Another way to be a good neighbor is to pray.

On Saturday, I drove up to Camp Wilderness for our church’s annual “Wilderness Weekend” – usually this trip takes about 45 minutes but the time was doubled when I-35 North was closed just past Liberty.   I exited at Church Road/291 and drove A-Highway north to cut over to Kearney on C-Highway before getting back on 35 once again. While driving alongside the highway, we saw an overturned semi was the source of the delay and all of the emergency vehicles we’d heard go by us.

This prompted me to share with the youth in my car about what I call a “Siren Prayer” which is along the lines of “Dear God, watch over those in need today as well as the emergency responders.” This covers those involved whether they’re victims of an accident, in the midst of a medical emergency, or even someone on the run from police, It also is offering up a prayer for police, firefighters and ambulance personnel.

How can you be a good neighbor?

I also thought it was very fitting that we’d be sharing about our Youth Mission Trip the Sunday after Rev. Kristy & Larry Schmitz got back to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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