This past week, our youth group and some of their families spent the week investing in our city. They began every morning by working at Lincoln Village. This is an area of town that is in the process of being revitalized. Some of our students worked in a community garden that is able to sustain the community. The students weeded and picked beans in the heat of the morning. Some of our students painted houses that are being restored. Some of our students got to go to the Boys and Girls Club and spend time with the students.
The afternoons were spent at Madison Village, an assisted living home. The students sat among the residents, made friendships, played BINGO, and shared their musical talent. This was a big hit! We have been asked to return in July and hope to see some familiar faces when we go back.
Monday and Thursday nights were spent at The Manna House, a community food bank. The director, Miss Fran, is an amazingly warm and inspiring woman. The students worked hard for 4 hours and served over 850 people each night. The needs are many right now, and the Manna House gives the needy food for each day. It relies on donations and volunteers every time the doors are open. This ministry worked its way into our kids’ hearts and I know many of them will return to work there again.
The week ended with a lock in…Yes, a stay-up-all-night, play-tons-of-games, eat-everything-in sight lock in 🙂 We had over 55 students join us for the night and it was a blast. I was so thankful for AWESOME grandparents who kept our kids so that Eric and I could both lock in and then sleep it off the next day 🙂 We also had a couple of sweet youth parents who gave their night away too, and I was extremely grateful for the time we had with them.
At the end of the lock in, we were asked if we would ever do it again. Immediately, I thought “This is like childbirth. Yes, I will do it again…but not anytime soon 🙂 ” Give us a year and we will forget how tired we were!