By Pastor Van Welton
No everyone can attend a short-term mission trip. An overwhelming number of church members, because of economic challenges and physical limitations, never have the opportunity to travel to distance destinations and minister to others in need. The contribution of those that remain at home is critical however, to the success of the mission trip. Often, it is prayer and encouragement from those at home that make the trip possible.
This week, Clarke County residents may partner with a group of local students who are on mission in Buffalo, New York. The CORE Youth Ministry of Apple Valley Baptist Church, made up of students from Johnson-Williams Middle School and Clarke County High School, is participating in a World Changers mission trip sponsored by the Southern Baptist Convention.
World Changers, organized through the SBC’s North American Mission Board provides Christian youth and adults with opportunities to meet the physical and spiritual needs of others through practical learning experiences that teach servant-hood and personal commitment to missions. In 2011, World Changers coordinated over 19,000 participants in mission ministries across North America at 95 locations. These participants volunteered on more than 1,500 work sites and 16 ministry sites.
On Monday in Buffalo, CORE youth members were divided into work crews with kids from throughout the nation. Crews are painting, reroofing and renovating houses recommended by the local social services agency. All the work is being performed by the students while adult crew members provide guidance. Students begin work at 7 am after sleeping on an air-mattress in a local, non air conditioned. high school. At the end of the day, they are bused to a separate location for cold showers and cafeteria food. The week is long and challenging.
Your encouraging support from home will help these local Clark County students successfully complete their mission. By clicking on the World Changers Link, http://blog.lifeway.com/worldchangers/e-couragram-north/ , you may write a short note of encouragement that will be sent directly to the team. You don’t have to be Southern Baptist to write a note. You are not becoming a Southern Baptist if you write one.
Team members from Clarke County include Jesse Aycock, Emily Welton, Paige Welton, Samatha Brooks, Faith Coffelt, Becca Carter and Lacey Brooks.
Students that attend a short-term mission trip should be encouraged, no matter what church they attend. Your kind words will have a tremendous uplifting impact on the spirit of a student that has just completed a long hot day serving others. On their behalf, thank you for your time in this matter.
Pastor Van Welton is the senior pastor of Apple Valley Baptist Church in Berryville. A follow-up report will be published after the trip detailing the team accomplishments and victories.