Mission Trips are always some of my favorite memories from my time as a student and now as the Student Minister. I love that we get the opportunity to serve a new community, make new friends, share the Gospel, and gain a new perspective about what it means to be a Kingdom Worker.
The Student ministry took a team to New Orleans the week of June 18-25th. We were blessed to be hosted by a wonderful church on the way to New Orleans that loved us like we were their own. At CIY Engage, they believe it is vitally important that as Kingdom workers we do things with, not for, people. To do that, CIY partners with locals referred to as “city connectors.” These partnerships give students the opportunity to serve alongside local ministries in each city’s unique areas of need.
In addition, each evening students heard from a different local Kingdom worker about how their faith impacts their daily lives. Throughout the week students were equipped to come up with their own action plans of how they will engage in Kingdom work when they return to their homes, schools, and communities.
We did experience a first in Student Ministry, we can now say that we we were part of a Tropical Storm and made it out safe! We were protected the whole time and only experienced rain and high winds.
Some of the highlights of our trip included serving the Lower 9th Ward. This was one of the hardest hit areas during Hurricane Katrina and they are still dealing with the aftermath. Through partnerships with churches and the local government, they have started restoring parks so children have a safe and fun place to play. Our students served primarily at a couple different parks within the Saint Bernard Parish beautifying, painting, cleaning, and doing general maintenance. We also partnered with the Capstone Community Garden doing some intense yard work. We hand cut waist high grass infested with fire ant hills. The grass that was cut would be used for bedding and feed for all the animals in their community garden.
Friday, we left New Orleans and headed to Gulf Shores Alabama for a couple of days of debrief and building relationships. I would like to thank Darrell McCarty and Amy Lawson as the other adults who served and sacrificed throughout the week. We are blessed to have many great leaders on our team.
~ Geoff Lawson