When the young people of Community Grace Brethren Church in Warsaw, Ind. set out for a ministry trip this summer, they hope not only to minister to a local church, but to impact a community for Christ. And they are hoping that others might want to participate in the opportunity.
“Our ‘home base’ is the Victory Mountain Grace Brethren Chapel in Dryhill, Ky., whose pastor is Sam Baer,” says Tim Clothier, pastor of student ministries and worship at the Warsaw church.“Typically, including our trip last year, groups will go to the church and host a vacation Bible school (VBS) for local and community children. This year, through an interesting set of events, we are not able to be in Kentucky for an entire week and thus not able to host a VBS.”
Not hindered by the prospects of a shortened trip, Clothier and the teens decided to expand their vision.
“Instead of spending the majority of our time at the church, we will be focusing the majority of our time in the local city of Hyden,” he says. The group, including about 15 students and adults, will be in Dryhill from June 17 to June 20.
He notes that Hyden and the surrounding community is very poor and has been ravaged by poor decision-making and drugs, usually in tandem with one another. “Many children there never see anything different than what is everyday for them,” he adds.
Clothier has been in touch with the mayor, a member of the board of education, and even the local librarian, who will allow the group to lead a story hour “with full freedom to read any story we would like.”
The Warsaw group would like to be sure children in the region have the items they need when classes start in a few weeks later, so they are seeking donations of school supplies and funds to purchase a Bible for each young person who receives the supplies.
“Our goals for this trip are simple and potentially life-changing for all involved,” he says. “We could be reaching 1,000 elementary-aged children, along with their familes, in Hyden,” he estimates.
And even if they can’t do a vacation Bible school, they will be promoting one led by a youth group that follows a few weeks later.
In addition to donations, Clothier seeks prayer for the trip. “We want to be a blessing to the Victory Mountain Grace Brethren Church and very practically, to the city of Hyden and its residents,” he says.
If you would like to make a donation, whether school supplies or a financial gift, contact Clothier at the Warsaw church, (574) 269-2443 or via email email@example.com.