Our last full day of the mission trip (Thursday, July 10) was a flip-flop of day three. My work crew spent our morning at Audubon Acres widening a trail, followed by an afternoon at the food bank, sorting donated food. We went through box after box of non-perishable food, everything from canned beans to fruit snacks. And pickles. Jar after jar after jar of pickles. (Note to self: just donate the basics — canned green beans and corn, pasta and sauce, tuna, peanut butter and cereal. Omit canned artichoke hearts, capers, cream of yuk soup, and pickles.)
Following our afternoon showers, we shopped for some Youth Enterprise shirts, went to Chester Frost park for the end-of-week community BBQ, and then came back to church for Club.
The last night of every YouthWorks trip ends up with footwashing for each group. We circle up in our respective church groups and the staff washes the feet of the leaders. Then, we leaders wash the feet and pray with each of our youth. It never fails to be an emotional and unforgettable part of the trip. It’s one thing to read about Jesus doing it. It’s another to experience it. I am thankful to have seen each one of our youth grow during the week. Afterwards, we our group talked about some of the lessons they learned. I think each point is profound:
(1) Don’t take today for granted. There’s no guarantee of a tomorrow.
(2) Jesus doesn’t pressure us to serve. He sets us free to serve.
(3) I wasn’t sure anyone liked me. I feel differently now.
(4) It’s nice to be with other believing youth. I don’t feel so alone.
Some profound lessons I believe a lot of us Christians need to be reminded of often. A number of our group said they would be interested in working as YouthWorks staff in the future. I think each of them would be great in that role!