An Indescribable Gift - Junior High Mission Trip 2018
“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”
~ 2 Corinthians 9:15~
This verse was the closing verse for our devotional on Tuesday morning. Our 16 students and four adults read this, ate breakfast, and then set out to serve at four different ministries throughout the day.
As we were serving, I continued to think about the verses we read that morning. In 2 Corinthians 9:9-15, Paul talks about pouring out for the needs of others and being rewarded ten-fold by the Lord, and he describes perfectly what a blessing serving others can be.
While many people would hear of a week-long trip with 16 students going into 7th – 9th grade and shudder at the thought, I can truly say this past week was a blessing from God.
Our Junior High students participated in the Connect to the Kingdom Mission Program located in Oak Cliff. Throughout the week, our group served with 10 different ministries located in South Dallas and developed relationships by loving neighbors in need. Our students encountered neighbors who were food insecure, neighbors who may have been falling behind in their learning, and neighbors who simply needed compassion and intentional, loving relationships.
As we worked with
- Wesley Rankin
- Cornerstone Baptist Church
- The Cliffhouse
- City Square Food Pantry and Thrift Store
- Cockrell Hill Project Transformation
- Food On The Move
- Dallas Life
- Cliff Temple Baptist Church
- Crossroads Community Services,
I continued to think about the opportunity we were given.
We were volunteering, giving back, and trying our best to be the hands and feet of Jesus, but nothing we did could balance out this indescribable gift from God.
God gave me the opportunity to spend a whole week serving with, loving with, and laughing with the Junior High students that I get to walk with all year! God gave me the opportunity to learn more about the needs that are prevalent in my city – needs that I can help meet throughout the year because of proximity. But most of all God gave me the opportunity to see our students exude pure joy in the least ideal conditions.
Our time serving with Food On The Move took us to four different apartment complexes and allowed us to simply spend time with kids who were receiving free meals through this program. If there are no volunteers, the kids simply get their lunches and go back inside due to the Texas heat, but last Wednesday we were the volunteers.
We had been warned about the project, due to the intense heat and lack of indoor facilities, but our group was ready to serve. At our first complex, the 10 of us jumped out of the van, and greeted a few kids that had received lunch. However, less than 15 minutes later this small gathering space was filled with the screams and laughter of the kids being served, coupled with the screams and laughter of the junior high students that I was serving with. I paused from my game of soccer to look out and take in the picture in front of me. Our students loving other students with pure joy in their hearts, minimal supplies with us, and little to no knowledge of the details of each other’s lives.
But despite all that, it is truly the closest thing I can get to the indescribable gift that Paul describes in 2 Corinthians. It was one of those mountain top moments when you know God is at work despite us and all the things going on around us. A moment that warrants worship and praise to God, and I am so thankful for this past week, for the year ahead. It was a moment when I realize the indescribable gifts around me.