Mission Trip Reflections

Thank goodness for helper, Kiley O., who can run fast, be organized, put up with crummy jokes, love kids, clean up and keep me going. What more could I want than a great helper? We had more fun than anyone else-little Eli telling us all his “farm” stories and his greatest desire to build his own robot. To see his face when he got his robot was priceless and to know how much it meant to him was a precious moment. One of our girls was only with us couple of nights but she shared with us the one thing she wanted in life was a BIG diamond! Now she didn’t want plastic, as that was not real, but she wanted a glass one because a glass one is real! The greatest joy was seeing kids respond to Kiley. They loved her and wanted to follow her no matter where she was going or what she was doing. Another joy was seeing a mom and dad with tears in their eyes as their son recited his Bible verse and then gave me a hug and said “I love you”! Wow no amount of money can buy that kind of response. Shirley

One of the most tiring mission trips, yet one of the most fulfilling. Thanks to the Lord for his presence and help every day. We knew the days would be full and challenging and we were prepared to teach, share, and help at FBC Gadsden, Parkview BC, and the Hub Club. I am not sure we were prepared for Eli, Keifer, Diedre, Blue, Gabe, Ivy, Chloe, Emma, and many other kids who touched our hearts and allowed us into their lives for a few days. We had never encouraged a church to offer an adult class and
the turnout and interest at both churches was surprising and humbling. I was so proud of the ways everyone was involved in the work going the extra mile to touch the life of someone in some way, usually unplanned. It was beautiful seeing everyone serving, sharing in the journey. Every day we were reminded of the Fellowship family as we enjoyed and shared the good food prepared in advance for us. Thanks be to God and the MT-17 team for a safe and successful trip. Our hearts and prayers go out to the kids we met, their families, and the two churches we had the privilege of serving, both of which are struggling. Pastor John

Knowing how to prepare for this trip was not easy. I am someone who enjoys organization and this was definitely not the most organized mission trip on which I have ever been. Because of this I decided early that my focus was going to be on building relationships with the students who were going on the trip. Serving together is the way I have seen God use most in my life to help me bond with students. God blessed me with plenty of opportunities on this trip to do that. We served, talked, played, prayed, and came up with a lot of inside jokes together. I really enjoyed getting to know them better. Another thing I was blessed by is the fact that the two girls in my VBS class made decisions to follow Christ. This was not because of my great skills as a teacher. Most of the time I was talking they looked bored out of their minds. God had been preparing their hearts
and we were blessed with the opportunity to experience this. I would like to say thank you to all who faithfully prayed for us and supported us in any way. You were definitely a part of the work God did. Sincerely, Joseph

Playing 10 year old Scooter for the kids at the beginning and the end of two VBS’s each day. Seeing a few of the girls at The Hub Club leave with a dose of hope. Sharing hugs and tears of joy with Chloe’ and her mom as we celebrated her commitment to Christ. Watching the students and Joseph grow closer as he treated them like young people and listened to what they had to say. Being in Gary’s adult class for a few nights, realizing what a powerful witness for Christ and mentor he is to me and so many others. The biggest blessing of all was seeing my beautiful girls love for their Savior in action. What a comfort it is to know that all of my girls have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Despite all of my shortcomings, fears, and failures as a dad, the Lord continues to do a beautiful work in all of them. I am so thankful that they will someday see me, not as I am now, but as the Lord sees me. I am beyond proud of them. Thank you Jesus! Darren O

Seeing as I survived my first mission trip, I came back for a second time. This was a great decision. I became closer to the youth and everyone else that went. We cracked jokes and laughed with or even at each other. This year I got to teach two classes both 4-6 graders and it was great. I told Pastor John I liked teaching because I love seeing them grow and develop in their understanding of what we taught. This week has been so much fun spending time with friends and making new friends. I’d like to thank everyone who was a part of helping the mission trip team whether you cooked a whole meal or gave some supplies. THANK YOU. Coming back this year I’m already thinking of how I want to go next year. Joe S

This mission trip was the first I’ve ever been on. So, I didn’t really know what to expect. The kids were great and completely filled with positive energy. The people from the other churches always had bright smiles and were super generous. And no matter how tired I was and how much I wanted to go home saying goodbye wasn’t easy. The new people I met were so great and I’m excited to see what’s in store for next year…. The following was added later: I had a conversation with one of the ladies who went on the trip. She asked me if I’d come back and how I felt about it. And I replied ‘yeh, I like it. I’m just super tired.” “yeh but we’ll recover” she told me. I laughed and didn’t fully grasp how important that was until later on. The kids we met in Tennessee were outstanding. Ivy was going into the 5th grade and accepted Christ. Gabe was overwhelmed by thinking about how serious accepting Christ was. Chloe accepted Christ. And nobody knows if things would’ve been the same if God hadn’t been there with us to work in their hearts. One of the girls asked if God had a mother that doesn’t sound like a serious question. But the fact that the kids where comfortable enough to ask a question at all was great. The whole trip was a complete success and I’m really glad God used me to spread His love. Alyssa S

June 13-16 of 2017 will be a week I will never forget. This was my first mission trip and I had a lot of doubts and fears but they all seemed to disappear as the days went on. I have had the privilege to get to know the young kids and grow closer to each one of them. They are a special group of young people with so much hidden talent. The people from each church welcomed us with open arms. We never felt like strangers. The highlight of the week was when two young girls accepted Christ as their Savior. This made everything that was tiring or uncomfortable just disappear. God is so good!!! Barbara W

This year’s MT was more difficult to prepare for than previous years since we were helping at 3 different locations (hard to keep up). I was feeling overwhelmed in the days leading up to the trip and especially the first couple of days we arrived, but God worked everything out. I took 1 day at a time and was able to get the crafts organized and prepared for the kids each day. Special thanks to Kylea Murphy who was my official helper and everyone else who helped me get things ready last minute. It was a true team effort. Edith

This mission trip has been different from the others, for one we had three VBS’s and we didn’t really do any yard work as usual, but that is ok. Another thing that I liked is that the two churches that we had VBS’s at fed us, and they fed us good! Banana pudding, cheesecake, fruit salad, the good stuff, anyhow I can honestly say that I had fun. I did recreation for all 3 places, I’m pretty sure those kids had fun and Maudell should have gotten some great pictures, I can’t wait to see them on the big screen. Had a blast! Dakota Steller

For me mission trip 2017 was heavily focused on serving others. This entire week I have been driven fully by the will power to serve. I made it my personal obligation to lift all of the heavy items for those people who can’t or those who may struggle. I made it my duty to load and organize the van before and after leaving from any location. Finally, I made it my responsibility as Jocelyn’s helper to have her classroom ready for the day’s curriculum well before scheduled. It was the satisfaction of hearing how great I was doing that made me want to continue; but it was the realization of why I was doing what I was that made me do it with such joy and assurance. I realized that my ability to do such things came from God.
The joy and satisfaction that I felt came from God. I alone cannot force myself to be TRULY happy, it only comes from God and God alone. I have reached the point in my walk with Christ to where I can identify His presence and work in my life. Without this experience I would never be where I am today. I am so thankful for the 2017 mission trip team, and thank you to the wonderful church Fellowship at Field Store. Sincerely, Kodi G

For me the mission trip went very successfully. Everyone that went I want to thank them for everything they did. I had a lot of fun this past week due to all the kids who came to VBS, and I especially want to thank this girl named Chloe. She came to the first day of VBS and was the only youth there. And on that first day Pastor came up to me and asked me if I could spend the week with her, and I’m so glad I did. Because she was the highlight of my week. Each day we got closer and closer to each other and on the day before last of VBS which was Thursday she accepted Christ and I can’t believe that me, Joseph, Christie and Darren all got her to that point. It really makes you feel like this mission trip was worthwhile. And it also made me realize how awesome and amazing God really is. I feel so blessed to have even met Chloe. Kylea M

Well, it was a first to do puppets in two churches on the same day for 5 days, good kids at both churches. The food was good from what our members made and what the Tennessee churches made for us. Hot and warm, rain on Thursday, rolling hills, lots of soybeans, corn and wheat fields all over! Jeff W

MT 2017 wasn’t basic! it was full of work, five minute naps, and shoving in the bathroom. Okay, lol. The rant is over. This was a blessed trip and getting to meet new individuals, seeing the joy on those faces gets me beyond excited. Knowing what I/we did could change a hardened heart or even a lost/broken one. Next year should be a new journey and another great finish. Thank you to all who cooked, prayed, and encouraged us. You guys aren’t just my “church” you’re my family! If your reading this… YESSSS! I’m talkin’ about you? Kaitlynn O

This year’s mission trip was very memorable. I don’t think I will ever forget when little Zack’s mom came up to me and said he won’t stop talking about me. Oh, and I can’t forget Greenli who followed me everywhere I went. Little kids surprise me they act like the don’t care but then they go home and talk like you are their best friend. That just makes me happy. I don’t know why but it does. Kiley Ochsner.

It never ceases to amaze me (although it shouldn’t) how God is at work if we just take the time to look. I got to see people from TN and TX appear to grow in their relationship with the Lord. As with any time you mix that many different personalities together in such a close environment it’s not all smooth sailing but as always God works things out. Question now is, where will God lead us next and who will step out in faith to join Him there… Gary

Awesome and amazing. Mission trip this year was truly an exercise in faith filled with many answered prayers, each time God working it all out perfectly. We were awed and amazed. Do you ever wonder why we are awed/amazed (the word surprised could easily be used here) when God works everything out perfectly? We profess to trust Him (have faith), and to know He has our best at heart, and then we’re surprised when He comes through. What is this all about???? I think it is part of His plan, something He has placed within us… His grace, is a gift that He gives us over and over again, if we were to not be surprised/awed by how He works in our lives I think we would begin to be expectant as if His answer were dependent on our merit not His grace. Stepping out on faith goes hand in hand with watching for Him and sharing His gift of grace. Just as Anna and Simeon did… like we do on mission trip, like we should do every day. Thank you Lord for the opportunity to go and share with sister churches and the challenge to exercise my faith and to share. Thank you, church family, for all your support and prayers, please continue to lift up those we served and served with in Tennessee. Maudell

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, Ephesians 2:8