Notes From the High School Mission Field – Sunday, August 10, 2014
HOPE’s high school mission team members tore it up while in Nashville, Tennessee, last week … Literally. Working on two, local United Methodist churches, three sites for the Salvation Army and a nonprofit organization known as Tools for Schools, the 37 students, along with their 14 adult leaders, worked with gusto and drive completing all their assigned projects during their week-long stay.“Each of the five teams was amazingly productive,” HOPE’s Youth Pastor Dave Falcone said. They tore down an enormous, dilapidated deck; stripped, re-glazed and repainted all the exterior windows of a church; cleaned, painted and converted a basement, completely transforming the area for a future dance ministry; built a huge, outdoor announcer’s stand; and constructed countless tables and other furniture to be used in local schools. “One elderly gentleman was moved to tears after the team completed work on his church,” Dave said. “He and his wife treated the team to lunch to show their appreciation.” One of the projects had been put out to bid with the lowest quote coming in at $15,000. “Our students worked hard and finished the project for just under $3,000 in material costs,” Dave said.
Relationships with each other— and with God— were also being built during the week. “We felt all our hearts, from start to finish, were aligned with His,” Dave said. Nine of the students made a first-time commitment to get to know God better. One student was completely transformed from resentment and resistance at the beginning of the trip to full participation and willingness near the end. “He went from silently sitting in the back of each gathering to sitting in the front fully engaged,” Dave said.
“Teams generally experience a night where they are emotionally overloaded by God working in their lives. With this trip, it happened on Wednesday evening. During our time of worship and small groups, there was deep, personal sharing that moved many of us. A couple of our first-time leaders were completely blown away.”
The mission team was able to balance hard work and serious faith building with a healthy dose of fun. Embracing their surroundings, the group sported their fair share of cowboy hats and boots, listened to country/western tunes and even managed a visit to The Grand Old Opry.
Welcome back team and congratulations on a job awfully well done!