My out of the vans and ran

My first mission trip was with my church’s youth group. It was the summer before my senior year of high school. Our mission trip was to Bear Branch, Kentucky. I looked forward to spending an entire week with my youth group. No chores, no parents, and no school! Little did I know, that was the experience that would change my life.
There were a total of fifty people, including our adult chaperones, going on this trip. After 7 hours of driving, we finally made it to Bear Branch, a small town that no one’s ever heard of. It was a nice town, where everyone knew each other. Kentucky’s roads are so narrow and windy, that we were all falling off the edge of our seats whenever we went around a curve.
By the time we got there, it was around 7pm. Everyone exploded out of the vans and ran to the building to get the best bunk beds.
By the next day, our youth group leader assigned us to different stations. Each station had its own leader. I was assigned to community, where me and my group helped mow people’s lawns, spend time with the elderly, clean schools, and play with the children. After each day of hard work, we all gathered together in the Big Creek building and held a worship service. Next, my church group met together and shared our stories from the day. It was so amazing to hear how God was working in each teen’s life! We all showered and went to bed, ready for the next day’s adventures.
Every day, the people were so grateful that we were helping them. I love making a difference in people’s lives. Especially those who are unbelievers. There were lots of opportunities to share the gospel to the children. My group and I shared one of our favorite verses with them, Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” They were so interested in the gospel and even wanted to hear more!
So many people came to Christ as a result of this trip and even a couple people from my youth group became believers too! It was so amazing to see how God worked in the hearts of the people in Bear Branch. While working hard, I discovered that I love serving and helping people. My group and I enjoyed serving in kitchens, cleaning schools and playing with the children. I would love to continue going on mission trips, maybe even out of the country.


I'm Mary!

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