Look, We Made the News!

13 01 2010

BJC Article

Thank goodness we didn’t make the news for something terribly devious (“Youth Group Blows Out Pilot Lights in Church Kitchen and Building Explodes”–oh wait, that just almost happened).

We actually made the news with a positive story!

Click on the link at the top of this post and check us out at the bottom of the page. I took four of our youth to Missouri Baptist Hospital in December to represent our confirmation program’s service project to the elderly patients there.

Here’s a summary of the information I gave to their reporter:

“At Faith, we realize the vital importance of not only exposing kids to situations they wouldn’t normally encounter, but also exposing them to people who are in vastly different life situations. We encourage our youth to participate in all sorts of activities that reach out to people of all ages, from Christmas caroling and visiting with the elderly at local nursing homes, serving in our homeless ministry downtown, working with little children at our summer Vacation Bible School, to witnessing about Christ to their own peers. Our church’s goal is to be constantly transforming communities and changing lives—and the kids throw themselves into this vision wholeheartedly.

We decided to do this project a few months ago, since we saw a need in our own community to help bridge the gap between teenagers and senior adults—two groups that don’t necessarily spend a lot of time together, but have a lot to offer one another. Sandy (one of our leaders in our middle school youth program) suggested we do something for her ACE unit at Missouri Baptist Hospital, since the patients there need a little something to brighten their days—especially at this time of the year. In talking with some of the kids and adults, the idea just took off. Before we knew it, we had people donating supplies for gift bags, scarves, pillows, and cards. Many of the kids themselves donated their own scrapbooking supplies.

We had 35 eager seventh and eighth grade youth from the confirmation program at Faith come to work on this service project in early November. We have a fabulous group of kids who are always eager to serve, and especially enjoy relational, community outreach projects. Our leaders, parents, and kids worked side-by-side and had a great time creating and organizing. The kids were so excited to make something that would touch someone else’s life, even if just for a moment.

Several individual students spent several hours each cutting out scarves and heart-shaped pillows at home before the service project started, and the larger group spent 2 hours stuffing the pillows and tying them, making handmade cards, and assembling gift bags of lotion, candy, pens and paper, and tissues. We assembled about 100 pillows and gift bags, several dozen scarves, and a large stack of cards.

I received a card from a Ms. Emly about two weeks after we donated the items to Missouri Baptist. She wrote, ‘Yesterday, I was the recipient of a beautiful blue and white scarf made by a member of your church youth group. I was a patient at Missouri Baptist Hospital and feeling very depressed. Your generous gift lifted my spirit, enough that the doctor allowed me to return home that afternoon! I will always remember your kindness and generosity and especially remember you in my prayers. May the Lord bless you!'”

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