In 2010, eight 4th through 6th graders (pictured above) went on a Helping Hands mission trip in Waynesboro July 8th and 9th, and what a great experience it was! The kids learned that it doesn't take much to make a difference, and they had a great time.
One afternoon they washed windows at a senior center while the next day they raked magnolia leaves out of an elderly lady's yard. In the morning they spent time in the kitchen making homemade cookies and cutting up fresh fruit which they took to local firefighters.
Worship time during the event was intense, with a praise band that really got on their level and got them excited about what they were doing.
Each child was asked to write about their experience. Below is what one of our young missionaries wrote:
I know we are the hands and feet of You, oh God
So if You say move
it's time for me to follow through
and do what I was made to do
and show them who You are.
In 2011, we sent another group of young volunteers (see picture below) along with chaperones Joy McGrath, and Tom & Bonnie Holliday who sang the words listed above along with about 100 other children and adults during the Helping Hands mission trip in July. The song is "I Refuse" by Josh Wilson and it set the tone for this time of serving others and fellowship.
The host church, Main Street UMC in Waynesboro, organized mission projects, devotion time, class time, meals, and fun activities for the group. As part of their mission work, members from Nelson UMC cooked and served a dinner to residents at the Valley Mission in Staunton, organized school backpacks and health kits for English as a Second Language and homeless students, weeded and mulched for a retired pastor, and created cards for shut-ins and service men and women. They also brought home bird feeders they made to care for our feather friends, a Helping Hands banner for our church, a t-shirt, a group picture, and memories of swim time, an ice cream social, new friends, and new songs to sing.
The children worked hard and joyfully and when it was all said and done, besides needing a little extra sleep, they were ready to turn around and go again!