written By Chrystal Henderson-Smith
Pell City First UMC Youth Director
Meet Oscar...he’s the guy in the picture with Pell City UMC youth Sami, Hannah, and Sam. Oscar is just one of the many wonderful people the group met during their June mission trip to Washington, D.C. This group of young people came across Oscar while hanging out at DuPont Circle. While DuPont Circle is famous for a lot of things, I bet you didn’t know that a large population of DC’s homeless call DuPont Circle home.
Over the course of the evening, these young people and their new friend played chess, debated the outcome of the NBA playoffs, and talked about life...what works, what doesn’t, and most importantly what God has to do with it all. In addition to Oscar, they met others who shared their life stories and their faith.
The experience has been something new for our youth...a new vision for youth mission.
With the population explosion in and around the world’s urban centers, cities are quickly becoming the world’s largest and most complex mission field. With this year’s youth mission opportunity, we are serving alongside ministries that focus on serving people in these settings. Whether serving food at a homeless shelter or playing with children at an after-school program, the focus of our mission is on cultivating relationships.
Participants are exposed to new situations, opportunities and physical surroundings that challenge their stereotypes and assumptions. By living in an urban settings, they interact with people of the city.
Having seen the needs of the poor in the city and having been part of the solution allows our youth to look at people differently, knowing that they have more in common with them than they ever imagined. These same experiences can be applied wherever youth find themselves.
This new vision for youth mission could not be possible without the support of the wonderful faith community of Pell City First UMC and we thank you for your contributions and prayers.