This week, 6 youth and two adults went to Yardley Pennsylvania for a four-day mission trip. This is the 5th year that Yardley
United Methodist Church has hosted MyCalling! and it has gotten bigger every year! This year there were 160 middle school
youth and leaders from churches in our conference and as far away as 6 hours away in New York.
13 crew teams went out into the community to serve in food pantries, people's homes, nursing homes, farms, and other
non-profit organizations. Covenant youth were split into two teams.
On the first day, Monday, both teams went to an elementary school in Trenton, NJ. This elementary school was in a poor
area, and one of the teachers was looking for people who could come and paint the only boy's and girl's bathrooms in
the building. The brickwork was crumbling, there was rust on the walls and stalls, and there was graffiti on the walls.
Our team primed the walls and stalls in both bathrooms and started priming the kitchen. Other teams would follow and
finish painting the walls and adding positive messages for the kids to see each day when they went to the bathroom.
On the second day, Tuesday, the teams split up and went to two different food pantries. One team went into a pantry
in Philadelphia where they loaded pallets of food for distribution to other area food banks. The other team went to a
local food pantry that served 250 families a week. That team cleaned and restocked the shelves, cleaned the inside of
the freezer, bagged fresh produce, and wrote encouraging notes to the people who use the pantry's services.
On the final work day, Wednesday, the two crews split up again. One crew went to a farm that grows fresh produce and
eggs to distribute to those in need. They weeded in the garden and picked fresh blueberries. The other crew went to Mobile
Minis, a miniature horse form, the director takes these miniature horses to libraries, churches, and even hospitals to
act as support and companion animals. On many days, kids and people with special needs come to the farm where they spend
time with the animals and read to them. This crew helped weed the obstacle course training grounds, fed the horses, helped
groom the horses, and a few helped lead the horses to where they would be read to. After lunch, this crew went to a local
nursing home to visit patients and then participated and helped the residents during their bingo activity time.
Each night there was a time of worship and a testimony/talk given by a high school youth. The last night was especially
compelling to the youth because the boy gave a moving testimony of a life situation that was quite difficult and yet
due to the support he had by his family and through his church and youth group knew that God was always by his side which
strengthened his faith. After worship time, we gathered as individual churches and talked about our pows(hard/ lousy
part of the day) and wows(good/best part of the day).
At our last church time, many of the youth asked if they could come again next year! I saw our youth grow and mature
over the previous three days as they got to know each other and could open up more to each other. I believe friendships
are growing and that they could grow to support and encourage each other in their faith. This trip also gave me a few
ideas of how we might find local places to serve throughout the year in our own community. I am grateful to Covenant
and CC Hancock for allowing me the time to take our youth on such a powerful and growing experience.