My Week Of Service
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My Week Of Service

A week well spent!

My Week Of Service
Ashland Church

I spent this past week among other teens and kids in my church's youth group serving our community and learning what it really means to give back. Each day, we found new opportunities to serve in the name of the Lord. Beginning at one in the afternoon, we would meet at my church and begin plotting for the day. From two to three o'clock, half of the group would go to a pediatric facility in a neighboring town. This facility is for kids up to age 21 (and sometimes older) whose medical needs are so great that they cannot live at home with their families. They may have a mental or physical disability, making it harder to stay at home. Each day, we brought Vacation Bible School to them, by teaching a lesson, singing songs of worship, and making the kids crafts to keep, and maybe even hang on their chairs or in their rooms. The other half of the group during this time went to a nursing home right next door, and played all sorts of games and spent time with some of the older people there. There were days when Mr. Softee came and brought everyone ice cream, a day for multiple rounds of BINGO, and so on.

Once we spent time getting to know some of the people at these homes and facilities, we would head back to the church and have a little down time, for about an hour. We could just hang out and talk, play games, or even hang around outside, weather permitting. At four o'clock, us youth would split up into boys and girls, and the peer leaders (seniors in high school or freshly graduated) would lead devotions. We went through Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, discussing which verses stuck out to us and how they can be applied to our lives. We were lucky enough to have some adults that belong to our church cook us a hot meal for dinner afterwards, and we could sit in fellowship to discuss the day's events. Next, from six to eight o'clock in the evening, we would serve in all different parts of the community. Whether it was helping out around a partnering church, cleaning up around our own church, or going out and doing yard work, there was always something to do. We all met back at the church, and the night ended there. The last night of the week of service, Friday, parents were invited to join us for dinner and a worship service, where we displayed our hard work to them and talked about all we were able to do.

This is my third year in a row participating in the Week of Service, and it is by far one of the most rewarding opportunities I've ever had. This is not just something I do to put on my college applications, but it is something that I can do to show the love of Christ to many other people. It is so amazing to build relationships with the staff and patients at the pediatric and nursing facilities. To have kids and adults recognize me from years passed just makes my heart soar. Spending quality time with friends in my youth group and learning about God with them is something I cherish and wouldn't trade for the world. All the service we do really does make a difference, no matter how small the acts are. We are able to build relationships and help out where help is needed. Making others happy and just spending time with one another is an incredible thing, and I am so grateful for such an amazing opportunity every summer.

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