2016 Youth Mission Trips

youth sunday
“Banana/Serious Face” song

We had a wonderful Youth Worship Sunday on July 31st.   Various members of our youth ministry programs served as greeters, ushers, and scripture readers.

Amy Bergman provided the Children’s Time message and was accompanied by various Camp Fontanelle counselors and youth participants when they sang the lively, fun “Banana Song/Serious Face.”

Three youth members provided our message, which was a recap of the Middle High Mission Trip, a recap of the Sr. High Mission Trip and a special testimonial called “Find Your Worship” from Jordyn Ritnour.  In addition, the Youth Praise Team led our music.

Thank You

Louis, Jenny
Jenny Louis, Youth Ministries Director

Thank you to everyone who participated in the service!  Thank you to Jenny Louis who leads our Youth Ministry programs.  And, Thank You to the congregation for supporting the youth programs with time, service, donations, and prayers.

Middle High Mission Trip

Bailey Klanderud gave the recap of the Middle High Mission Trip to help the homeless in Kansas City, MO.  They worked at two different ministries:  Hope Faith Ministries and Avenue of Life.  They both approach homelessness in a different way but they both make a difference!  After working so hard, the group had a fun afternoon at Worlds of Fun, too.

There were 19 people on the trip, which included 6 chaperones (Brent Klanderud, Heather McBeth, Connie Rance, Shaini Carney, Michele Thompson, and Jenny Louis.  The participants were:  Caroline Thompson, Sawyer Thompson, Jake Rance, Meg Carney, Kailey Roberg, Jaycee Schutte, Evelyn Peek, Caitlyn McBeth, Bailey Klanderud, CeCe Crisman, Isabella Crisman, Parker Crisman, and Ethan Murphy.

On the first day, the group worked at Hope Faith Ministries.  The group was split up into multiple areas:  the kitchen, the clothing/home items, weeding the garden, and working with compost.  After serving food, the youth were challenged to sit with some of the people they served lunch to.  Some of the girls sat with a very nice lady named Myn.  She was very appreciative of what they were doing at Hope Faith.  Even in her hard circumstances, she was positive and happy.  Working at Hope Faith was very eye opening to see the real people from Kansas City.

The next day, the worked at Avenue of Life.  They met Billy, the manager of Avenue of Life.  He told them that he used to be a struggling recipient of the services of Avenue of Life.  Now, he is the person helping others get to a stable place in their lives.  Some of the resources available include:  washers and dryers, clean sanitary bathrooms, computers, eye exams, counseling, etc.  The Middle High group helped in various areas throughout the morning cleaning and tidying, working in the garden, cleaning the veggies, serving food, providing childcare, organizing clothing, and other small projects.

Bailey said, “One of the services that really stuck out to me was during prom season they give the girls that can’t afford to attend their prom a dress, jewelry, shoes and hair styling!  All for free!”

On Sunday, they attended church at St. James United Methodist Church.  The congregation was very welcoming.  They gave us hugs and shook our hands when we were announced as visitors.  The message was very powerful and the amazing choir really enhanced the service.

Senior High Mission Trip

south-dakota-missionKadi Carleton gave the recap of the Senior High Mission Trip to Pine Ridge, South Dakota.  There were 15 people on the mission trip, which included 5 chaperones (Greg Roberg, DeAnne Fedde, Brett Heckens, Mike Thompson and Jenny Louis.  The participants were:  Kadi Carleton, Katie Wolford, Rachel Bruner, Lindsey Roberg, Karissa Heckens, Nathaniel Robinson, Kaleb Heckens, Jason Meyer, John Beeson and Jackson Thompson.

Elkhorn Hills UMC partners with Next Step Ministries for the Senior High Mission Trips.  Below is the stated mission for “The Reservation Mission Trip to Pine Ridge, South Dakota.”

Inside the southwest corner of South Dakota near the Nebraska border, sits a beautiful stretch of rolling hills and endless skies known as the Pine Ridge Reservation. Pine Ridge is one of the largest Native American reservations in the country, and faces some of the most deeply rooted challenges. Alcoholism, drugs, unemployment, abuse, and suicide, impact family dynamics and the larger community on a daily basis. We have walked through moments with families experiencing death from alcoholism, and schools grieving a single student lost by suicide.

This is why we came to Pine Ridge, but it is not why we stay in Pine Ridge.  We stay to learn. We stay to build trust. We stay because we see potential and hope. We stay because community members are joining us in the work and invested in change.

With countless mission teams visiting Pine Ridge on a year round basis, our desire is to humbly walk alongside the friendships we have built and faithfully support the local organizations who work day in and day out on the reservation. And although challenges are present and years of resentment towards outsiders may exist, hope persists and reconciliation continues to take place physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Our platform for partnership in Pine Ridge is construction based. Your students will meet tangible, physical needs on trailers and homes in the area.  At the core, the work we are doing in Pine Ridge is relational. With your help, we desire to build relationships with new families and organizations in the area that are founded on trust, rooted in humility, and centered on learning.

Kadi spoke about the mudding and sanding tasks her group completed and the construction/siding work done by the other group, which is all part of the larger mission of Next Step Ministries.  She also spoke about the meaningful worship they did each night.  There was also a lot of fun and camaraderie from the youth and chaperones.  Here are some fb quotes from the participants . . .

Day Two! The kids are tired and hot. No AC where we stay. Makes us appreciate all God had blessed us with back home. Praying for a great work and worship day!

Happy Birthday to my newest bestest friend DeAnne! Had an amazing time being on your crew and getting to know you!

I feel incredibly blessed to have served the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation this past week with all of these wonderful and loving individuals! We worked hard on our construction projects, learned a lot about the Lakota people, praised the Lord with our whole hearts, and grew in our faith together. Even though it was blazing hot and we had no air conditioning, the week was amazing, and I long to go back and worship with this group again! To God be all the glory!

Find Your Worship

Jordyn Ritnour
Jordyn Ritnour

Jordyn Ritnour spoke her faith journey and how music has been a large part of it.  Everyone’s faith journey is different, but she encouraged everyone to find their way to worship God.

God Bless You, Jordyn.  Thank you for your testimony.

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