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High School Mission Trip

13 High School Students and 4 Adult leaders left St. Louis filled with excitement to serve the people of Lumberton, NC who were impacted by Hurricane Florence in 2018. All loaded up, we were ready to serve!

Our group was blessed to have a church provide us with room to sleep overnight in Sevierville, TN for the evening before finishing our journey to North Carolina. Even after only one day of traveling, our vehicles began to take on the not-so wonderful smell of teenagers.

Arriving in North Carolina, we were so excited to hear how exactly we would be used to serve the community this week. We were introduced to our staff member for the week, named Michael, that would be working on our worksite alongside us. He shared with us how much work there would be for us to do on our site.

Michael was not wrong. As we arrived at our work site for the week, we all greeted the resident, named Wanda, and surveyed the work that needed to be done. The house was unlivable, as the roof was in shambles, the floor of the house was so soft that it threatened to cave at any moment, the exterior of the home was covered in grime and debris, and both sets of stairs into the house were barely holding together. We quickly understood that we were exactly where God wanted us to be. 

Right away we got to work clearing the house of anything that was rotting or soaked. The steps were torn out, ready to be replaced, and we began to scrub the house clean with bleach and water. Though it was tough work, especially with a heat index of 114 degrees the very first day of work! Despite the heat and tough work, every one of our 17 participants worked hard and put in an incredible effort to bring this home back to livable condition.

Our group had an instant connection with the resident Wanda, who lived in the home with her two daughters and two grandchildren. Throughout the week Wanda shared with us how much of a blessing we were to her and her family.

The theme of this week’s trip was Run The Race based on Hebrews 12:1-2. At each of our evening chapel times, we worshipped and heard a message about the baggage that each of us carries and experiences in life that slows us down. We heard about baggage from relationships, identity, life, and others.

By the middle of day 2, we could already see our work paying off as the house began to look and feel much more like a home. It is amazing how much of a difference just the first coat of paint can make!

After each of our evening chapel sessions, our group gathered together in a room back on our housing site to read through our day’s devotion and discussion questions. This is where the students really showed their growth on this trip. It was so incredible to see the vulnerability and honesty of each student as they shared the truly heavy baggage that they struggle with in life.

By the end of the week, Wanda had once again shared how much of a blessing our group was to her. Though we shared with her that she was as much as a blessing to us as we were to her. Throughout the week we were able to see her faith clearly. No matter how dark life got or how much water threatened her family or her home, she remained faithful to God throughout it all.

The Holy Spirit moved through each of us on this trip and opened our hearts to one another as we shared each other’s burdens and baggage. We left from Faith as friends but returned as a family.

Posted by Faustino Munoz with

Newsong Family Mission Day 4

Our last full day of serving for this year's trip is in the books! These are by far, the shortest long days ever!

The men started off bright and early by joining the New Song men's Bible study this morning. What a blessing Godly men are to our families - and our world!! 

After they returned we headed to Phil's Friends to make cards and pack care packages for cancer patients. It's a wonderful way to share God's love with people during a very dark time in their lives. It has also been personal for us each year to be able to pack a care package for someone we know. We're so grateful to this organization for their mission and happy to be a part of it! 

We got a little downtime this afternoon to hang as a mission family, including devotions and the much loved water balloon wars. We can tell the kids are getting older because there were no tears this year! :)  

We ate dinner out tonight at Portillo's - a famous Chicagoland restaurant - and it was delicious as always. We got to celebrate the birthday of one of our own by pretty much embarrassing him to no end throughout the day - a water balloon attack, endless birthday songs and recognition everywhere we went! Happy birthday, Dave! (He may never go on another trip with us on his birthday again!) 

After dinner we went back for our third and final packing session at Feed My Starving Children and learned from an FMSC employee (Chris) about his missionary work in Haiti. He saw first hand what this food does for starving children and the amazing lifesaving blessing it is. He told us that in his 8 years at an orphanage there, not a single week went by when some mom, dad or grandparent didn't drop a child off because they couldn't support them. Can you imagine having to make the unimaginable decision of keeping your child and watching them starve or quit raising them so they could live? And yet that is the reality for so many people in Haiti due to the extreme poverty and astoundingly high unemployment rate. Chris told us how many children he saw get their lives back thanks to the Manna Pack food and grateful he was to have this gift for these kids. Once he finished his missionary work, he knew exactly where he wanted to work - to help on the other side of the equation. And thanks for volunteers and donors, FMSC is able to continue to work towards their mission of eradicating hunger. If you're not able to help by volunteering to pack food, you can always donate funds or shop in their marketplace, which helps in two ways: by providing economic stimulation in impoverished communities where the goods are made, and by providing funds for Manna Pack. And bonus, the marketplace items are SUPER cool and unique. 

We're looking forward to worshiping with our host church in the morning and heading back to St. Louis for a little R&R! Thank you for your prayers and support - our team is grateful for the opportunities to show God's love. 

Posted by Rachel Queen with

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