Notes from the Mission Field

Notes from the Mission Field

Approximately 40% of the population in many parts of North Carolina lives below the  poverty line. So, for the 28 students and 12 adults traveling to Casar last week as part of HOPE’s Middle School Mission Team, there was much to do.

Starting each day with a 30  minutes of quiet solitude and reflection, students would begin their workday after breakfast. Whether it was farming potatoes; building decks and wheelchair ramps for area residents; constructing benches for a Christian camp site; or working at the thrift store that helps fund these local initiatives; HOPE’s middle schoolers rolled up their sleeves and made a real difference to the many people they served.

At the end of the workday, the students would meet for dinner and then spend some time just hanging out. Later each evening, the team would gather for worship time in both large and small groups praying, studying Scripture, sharing their day, encouraging one another and singing.

This was the 31st mission trip  for HOPE’s Youth Pastor, Dave Falcone. “My goal is to put individuals in situations where they’ll see and experience God. It blows me away how God shows up and impacts lives each and every time.”

Students were asked to give one encouragement bead each day to another team member. Green represented compassion; red, leadership; blue, risk-taking; yellow, putting others first; gray, morale lifting; and turquoise, patience. But the real reward came by way of the many residents who expressed gratitude for all their hard work.

“A resident who we were building a wheelchair ramp for was beginning treatment for leukemia,” HOPE’s youth intern, Josh Bills said. “He was onsite every day after his treatment and was so appreciative of the work the students were accomplishing.” Our high school  mission team will return to Casar in August to continue the work.

The theme of this trip was “Unlikely” and the team spent the week studying how God used unlikely people throughout the Bible to impact the world. Each team member was asked to consider just how God might be using their lives to make a difference in the lives of others.

We are thankful for their safe return and for the wonderful way God worked in each of them as they brought salt and light to the people of Casar.

Welcome home!



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