First Christian youth undertake hometown mission work

The First Christian Church youth group recently spent a week on mission in Alliance.

Aug 01, 2014

ALLIANCE: The First Christian Church youth group recently spent a week on mission in Alliance. After spending a week in Ashland, Kentucky, last summer, several teens suggested that there is mission work to be done close to home as well. Youth director Rachael Runner agreed and organized work to be done.

The week began with moving tables and chairs at the YWCA on East Market Street, where teens weeded landscape beds. They made magnet favors to be delivered with Meals on Wheels and also made Christmas cards, which the YWCA will mail during the holidays.

The next project was helping at the Alliance Community Pantry during the busy morning hours. Youth participated in bagging bread, stocking shelves, helping shoppers and bagging groceries for clients.

"People were kind and really wanted to get to know me," Marlington student Riley Sampson said. "It felt like we were doing God's work. Everyone was very appreciative of our help for even the slightest thing."

Throughout the week the youth went to the homes of three different church members, where they did yard work, weeding and trimming.

At the Alliance High School Summer Lunch Program, the group offered face painting and cleaned tables and trays.

The group's final project was preparing and serving food for the weekly free meal at Feed My Sheep Ministries. This project was especially meaningful for many youth since Feed My Sheep is housed in what had been their church home building until 10 years ago. After preparing the meal and transporting it to Feed My Sheep, the youth assembled carryout dinners and talked with clients as they came to get their meals.

Runner closed each day and the week with discussion time, which allowed the teens to reflect on their experiences. Alliance High School student Shannon Dillon said, "Our youth group definitely enjoyed serving others in the community. I was often asked, 'Why are you doing this?' Giving God the glory, the answer is simply because we would like to share God's love with others through our service."

According to Runner, the week offered a social and spiritual growth experience for every teen who participated. The teens' eyes were opened to the many ways God can be served by serving others in our own community. She believes it was a rewarding week for each youth, who were very compassionate and caring to everyone they met.

At the end of the week, the group enjoyed a swimming party at the home of Misty and Charlie Sampson.

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