The closing program of the Week of Hope brought so much to celebrate. As a group we accomplished a lot and served in so many ways, and all glory goes to God for working in us and through us and sometimes in spite of us.
As we learned to REFRAME our view of Jesus and what he wants to accomplish in our lives, we learned a lot about ourselves and others, especially when we shared our prayer journals. One of the greatest joys of working with youth ministry is to see the God moments when we share our respect and love for each other, even when we don’t know each other that well. As we revealed who our prayer partners were- here are some of many wonderful phrases that were heard–
“I was so impressed with the way my prayer partner was able to strike up a conversation with any resident that was there. I was so glad he kept the conversation going.”
“I was so excited to draw the same prayer partner I did 4 years ago, who has become my very best friend.”
“My prayer partner is a great person and I am glad we got to serve together at the nursing home. It was awesome to have him there to sing the bass part with me as low as we could go.”
“I didn’t know this person well before the trip. He is extremely talented in song and on the guitar and piano, and it turns out he has the skin of a bronze god.”
The end of the night brought much fun with contests, fashion shows and dance. Do we think we can dance? Oh, yes Hope Youth can and a whole lot more:
Crew 6 and 8 work site video
Lip Sync Contest
Hope Can Dance! Cupid Shuffle!
There were many fun moments. One of the best that brought a roar from the crowd was when Aaron and Noah were joined on stage by Jacob who decided to get up and dance after all! The stage cleared and Noah and Bundschuh Boys busted their moves. (unfortunately my phone was dying at this point but I was able to grab a few more pics!)
At one point or another, every Hoper was out on the floor. On one level, praise God that we even have the physical ability to dance. On a greater level, praise God that we built a sense of community and trust amongst each other this week that made everyone feel accepted and comfortable. No words are needed to dance and have fun.
The ride home was an adventure that included a stop at Subway. All 25 of us, pretty much took over the place and then we were on the road again. I know my car sang a rendition of “Piano Man” that Billy would have been proud of! (Can I just tell you that some of the music we listened to was the music from my teenage years, 30+ years ago!? Billy Joel, Kansas, Journey, the soundtrack from Grease. The list goes on. Apparently I am cool after all. Take heart, if you are over 40, you are too!)
These are just some of so many moments this week that made us catch our breath and see the world in a much bigger, relevant context. Mission trips have a way of doing that, which is why I would encourage you dear reader, to sign yourself up for one, if you haven’t already. While there is so much work still to be done, there is also great hope that others will come along and build on what we did this week. (1 Corinthians 3:7)
7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.
10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it.”
We thank God for the many ways we served and were served by His faithfulness, His grace and His outrageous love this week. Again, thank you to all who prayed for and supported us in making this trip happen. We are weary; but as I explained to Pastor Greg, it’s a good weary. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I know it’s 5 pm, but I really am going to take a nap!
You can find additional videos from Meredith on the Week Of Hope Cincinnati Facebook page. (Under the Posts to Page section on the left) Watch for a video to be posted this week of our group in action.