Fayette First UMC youth spend summer serving
As the summer vacation is winding down, Fayette First UMC Youth are winding down a summer of serving. More than 30 students have served in one of four different missions over the past two months. Their summer motto, “Jesus came to serve, not to be served” rang throughout not only their community, but their state and world.
Their first summer mission trip involved helping build porches on two different homes in the Cuba, AL area with Alabama Rural Ministry. They learned that serving isn’t just a “trip”, it is a lifestyle where they are learning to be servant leaders. The second mission project they served (and continue to serve) with is a local ministry of Fayette First UMC called Fishes and Loaves. While a team prepares and boxes over 300 hot plates the third Saturday of every month, the youth came together and delivered those meals to those in the local community who are in need of a hot meal.
The third mission team partnered up with Isaiahsixeight Ministry based in Birmingham, AL and ministered to over 150 children in the Port Morant, Jamaica area. They found themselves in the midst of some “Weird Aminals” in Port Morant along with some 90 children experiencing an amazing Vacation Bible School. While there, the team also took VBS on the road to Old Pera, Jamaica where children were able to experience Vacation Bible School for the first time in over 5 years. Dr. Donald Cantley, President of Isaiahsixeight, said “While your lives were changed with this experience, I suspect you have also made lasting impressions on the lives of Jamaicans. Hopefully many of you will go back to renew those friendships.”
Lastly, several youth received first had experience in constructing wheelchair ramps to those in need in the Fayette community. Dr. Joe Acker, a longtime member of Fayette First UMC, has headed this Wheelchair Ramp Ministry for many years. After serving on the ARM trip in Cuba, AL, several youth expressed interest in learning to help build the ramps so Dr. Joe extended an open invitation to those who would like to serve in that capacity. So far, two ramps have been constructed in the last two weeks with several youth stepping up to the challenge.
“I could not be more proud of our youth,” replied Dana Gilliam, Fayette First Youth Minister. “They have really stepped up and stepped out this summer…they have literally become the hands and feet of Christ to so many not only in the Fayette Community, but in this state and in our world. I think they are GREAT living examples of Matthew 20:28, ‘just as the Son of Man did not did not come to be served, but to serve.’”