Early Sunday morning July 16th twenty-six Broadway high school students and adults loaded up in our newly acquired church bus and a rental van and headed the more than 650 miles to Steubenville, Ohio for our 2017 Youth Mission Trip. It wasn’t the easiest drive we’ve ever done, and yet God does amazing things when you say ‘send me.’
Our home for the week was the J.O.S.H.U.A. house where we joined a long history of other youth and adults who went to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of people in the Ohio Valley. The JOSHUA work mission program is a branch of the Urban Mission, a Methodist founded non-profit that provides food, shelter, and other essential services to their low-income population.
We did this primarily through serving homeowners in the Ohio Valley. We were able to serve our homeowners by removing crumbling concrete stairs and replacing them with new treated wood ones, silvering the roof of a trailer home, working to replace old skirting and repainting, and contributing to finishing out several bedrooms and living spaces in a home in much need of some rejuvenation.
Our spirits were lifted and our hearts met others along the way that inspired us, taught us, and lead us to think differently about what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. One homeowner was so grateful that while we sat and ate our sack lunches in her backyard, she started to provide the most delicious side dishes you’ve ever tasted: deviled eggs, potato salad, baked beans, fresh cucumbers, lemonade and iced tea. While none of it was expected or asked for, she showed us just what gratitude looked and tasted like!
Alongside homeowners and the amazing staff of the Urban Mission we had the opportunity to leave our mark on the city of Steubenville, just as it left its mark on us. If you would like to see a little more of the story, check out the local news coverage we got while we were serving.
Story and photo courtesy of Rev. Nick Larson,
Associate Minister at Broadway CC in Columbia.