We worked hard, played hard, and worshipped hard! Two weeks ago, fifteen preteens (5th and 6th graders) and seven chaperones headed to Waco, Texas for a week-long mission trip. What’s fun about pulling weeds from a garden in the hot sun? Absolutely nothing—unless you confront the task with great attitude. We took opportunities that would have caused most to quit and completed the work in a way that glorified God. Ministry group leaders repeatedly commented on the positive outlook of this hard-working group.
Preteens led Street Camp in an apartment complex, led chapel at the homeless shelter, cleaned filthy beds in a homeless shelter, pulled LOTS of weeds, sorted clothes in an unair-conditioned room, chased cows in a rodeo arena, fished, and ate lots of ice cream!
Russ Holmes wrote, “The Poverty board game we played with bad luck cards was eerily similar to real life when we met a couple at My Brother’s Keeper shelter. He had a stroke and his wife was forced to choose between her job and caring for her husband. They both lost their jobs—which resulted in them living on the streets. It really highlighted how some folks could be one significant event away from being homeless.”
One night’s devotion time resulted in an unplanned, tender time of affirmation in which preteens acknowledged each other’s spiritual gifts and positive qualities. During the Lord’s Supper on the last night together, they shared salvation testimonies with no advance preparation—only the prompting of the Holy Spirit as He moved among the group. Our preteens left as spiritual leaders “in the making” and returned home as spiritual leaders ready to serve!