We have a “guest” post this time from Kelson Henwood, one of the youth who spent a week working in Queens last month. Here are her thoughts in her own words (thanx for sharing, Kelson).
Grace U.C.C’s youth group recently returned from a YouthWorks mission trip in Queens, New York. A group of 6 teens and 3 adults traveled to Jamaica, NY on June 14, 2009 for a week of service, reflection and fellowship! The group met and joined a group from Iowa and almost instantly created a family bond. This group of young adults put their talents to work. During the week they volunteered at assisted living centers, worked to help clean some of the parks in Queens, served in a soup kitchen and helped serve meals at a Community BBQ!
During their work time in the assisted living centers, the group provided physical activities for the residents such as tossing a ball, taking a walk, playing board games and dancing! They also spent time simply listening to the residents allowing them to tell their story! The youth spent a lot of time learning about the cultural ethnicity that makes up New York.
At the parks they did jobs such as painting park benches, picking up trash and landscaping as well as general building cleaning. During their time in the Soup Kitchen and at the Community BBQ, after serving the meals, the youth were asked to â€œsocializeâ€ with the patrons. These young adults astonished the leaders as they went out of their way to make the patrons feel comfortable.
On the last day of their trip, the group headed to Manhattan for some site seeing. During their short time in Manhattan, they traveled the Hudson River aboard the Circle Line Boat Tour. This tour took them past the Statue of Liberty, both Yankee Stadiumâ€™s and many, many other sites. They also went to the top of the Empire State Building, visited Time Square and even shopped at Macyâ€™s!
Grace UCC has a long standing tradition for their yearly youth mission trips. After each trip, the group reflects on their experiences during a worship service. After listening to these reflections, it is evident that this trip will leave a huge mark on the hearts of all the participants.
The group is already planning their trip for 2010! Stay tuned for more information about their next adventure!