2017 Youth Mission Trip - Kansas City, KS

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July 26

Hi it's Creighton, taking a shot at blogging. Ok so today me and my group went to Saint Paul's. Saint Pauls is a one the oldest church's in KC. The reason we were at the church was to help with the food pantry. There were many job; Jackson and I cleaned a dungeon like space that at first was not that hard but we hit a little bump. There was a small window sill that was very,very,very dirty. When we tried to clean it, the water in our bucket turned black. We handled the situation by changing water often and we got it done.

While we were working on the dungeon, Sarah and Ashlee were sweeping the rooms where neighbors would be shopping. Jordan was busy cutting up boxes for recycling.

So the church has a small free farmers market/grocery store for people that couldn't afford to buy them. So people were getting a slip of paper and this told them how many groceries that they could get. All the guys took on the job helping the shoppers take bags from their cart to their car. Sarah was in charge of prepping shopping carts with boxes/bags and Ashlee had the fun job of untangling all the donated plastic bags.

The last thing that we did for today was we had a small church service with some of the people that went to the church. The interesting thing about this service is that it is in both English and Spanish. We had LGG (Large group gathering) and we talked about parts of our day and sang songs. Then we switched to Church group time and talked about our day. It was fun.

- Creighton

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Today was another busy day for all the groups. Chad, Ben, Caty and Abby enjoyed sorting and hanging clothes at a thrift store. Chad learned about child clothing sizes and may be scarred for life. Claire, Teagan and Brett continued to work with young children at an art camp. The kids continued working on their bird houses and played games with our youth.

We had authentic mexican tacos as a community member helped prepare our evening meal. They were very good and many of the kids -- ok so did I -- went back for seconds. We walked over to the community grocery store which focuses on mexican food. There was pop from Mexico, cooking ingrediants from Mexico and other specialty products that you do not find at our local Hy-Vee or Fareway.

The church where our activities took place has a bilingual Sunday service. We were able to experience what that was like by having a worship service tonight. The songs are sung in both english and spanish -- one verse in english and then the next in spanish. The litergy is spoken in both english and spanish so that everyone hears the same Bible passages and sermon. It was very interesting and gave the kids a good idea what it would be like during a service on Sundays.

Thank you for all your prayers and support!

-Steve

July 25

Hey y'all it's your girl, Caty, coming at you with Tuesday's blog post. (I know you've been waiting for this moment since we've left). Today my group went to a thrift store/ food pantry in the morning. It had no AC but it had some really nice people. We organized soups and unloaded items. We met a guy with a Ph.D in physics (Chad was super impressed), and heard stories from the community. Afterwords we went back to Splitlog Farms. We pulled weeds in the hot sun for almost 2 hours. We had to take frequent breaks and drink lots of water. But we got to leave early to go take our showers. Our leader,  Emily, accidentally drove us into Missouri instead of the YMCA in Kansas. 

Tonight was what YouthWorks calls "option" night.  We had the night off to do whatever our church group wanted to. We decided to go to Fritz's, better known as the choo-choo train restaurant. We had a great time laughing and talking -- luckily not many people were in the restaurant.  After we had our fill of trains dropping off food and laughing we came back to the church.  We beat everyone back so we decided to play cards and listen to the Backstreet boys. You know, just "casual" things.  

So a pretty successful day. Check back tomorrow for more adventures. Try not to miss me too much, it'll only be a few more days! Miss you Mama Tran.

Yours truly,
Caitlin "Caty" Henriksen.

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Claire, Teagan, Brett and Jill returned to the Epic Arts center where they began working with kids to make bird houses.  Some were very interesting shapes including one that looked like a bird -- well it is a bird house right?

Jackson, Jordan, Creighton, Sarah, Ashlee and Steve returned to the house painting site.  They touched up some areas, painted window frames and painted the soffits.  As the temperatures began to rise and heat advisories were issued the owner of the house called us in for a home cooked lunch.  It was a wonderful Mexican pulled-chicken meal.  Everyone enjoyed the food and A/C but then it was time to go.  Because of the heat advisories we headed back to the church to clean brushes and tidy up the church rather than working outside.   

The theme for today was focused on how do we find "The Good Life".  We looked at the Book of John: 7: 37-38, 10:10-15 and 14:6.  These passages show us how we can find the true shepherd rather than all the false shepherds we see and hear.

The youth are tired but having a good time.  Everyone is healthy, eating plenty and we hear lots of laughing.

Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

-Steve

July 24

Today our group (including Abby and Caty), which was with another adult leader, glued badges to storm drains for reminders to not dump into rivers and creeks. We finished the afternoon by working at a beautiful farm full of fresh produce for the community. It was very hot; however, we still got lots of work done clearing sticks and pulling weeds to make the farm look more attractive.  (There should have been canopies to shade us but over the past weekend someone stole them and the weed eater.)

The other two groups painted houses and worked in a food pantry. Both groups realized how important relationships became in working with the community.  (An example of this is the neighbor who allowed the house painting group to borrow his extension ladders.  He was happy to let the group use them because we were helping his neighbor.) 

In the evening, our whole group received a speech and activity about immigration. We were told the facts about the methods for visas and a personal story of how citizenship got in the way of college scholarships. Even without politics, we all learned the difficulties of receiving visas and the complications of immigration.

-Ben and Chad
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Many of you may have heard on the news that KC had a large storm Saturday night that knocked power out for over 100,000 people.  As of Monday morning 35,000+ were still without power including the YouthWorks site in Kansas City, MO (we are in Kansas City, KS).  They joined us for dinner Monday night which made for a tight squeeze in our dinning area -- our site has about 45 people and the MO site brought an additional 75.  This was another example of community in action.  

Our group has spent time in individual morning devotions and evening large group worship.  We also have church time at the very end of the day to come together as a church and talk about our days activities.  This is also a chance to talk about how we have seen God at work in this community.  

We often go into a days work anticipating who we might run into as we work -- only to have God throw us a curveball.  A great example of this was when the house painting group met the home owner.  Many of the youth expected to meet an older person but they met a young mother with three children trying to get her house in shape to sell.  They heard the story of how she needs to sell the house to move to another state where she can have affordable medical care for one of the children that has been diagnosed with autism.

God is at work within this community and within our youth.  Please keep both in your prayers as we continue our week in Kansas City, KS.

-Steve

July 23rd

Day one

Hello team, we made it safely to Kansas City!

Highlight of the Day: the playground at the rest stop. I personally climbed the slide like the cool kid I am :) 

The Royals game was HOT!!!! We left at the bottom of the 8th and walked a ways to the van. Then we finished the trip to Grand View Park. This is where the girls are staying and the boys are staying two miles away. 

We learned that our group will be separated into three teams with the other churches.

We are excited to start the week and learn new things.

Signing off,
Ashlee M. 

Ps. Hi Mom and Dad!`

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