Her name is Karen, and she is a child of God! Karen lives in a very humble home in Saltville. Her floors were falling in. Her wheelchair ramp needed fixing. Her front porch needed a coat of paint. So God sent some kids to help her out.
Their names are Samantha, Christian, Katie, Jared, Caleb, Colee, Evie, Zach and Kay. They are from South Dakota, Iowa, Michigan and Massachusetts. They needed an experience to show them what it meant to be the hands and feet of God. They needed purpose. They needed “family.” They needed to see the face of God. So God sent Karen.
Through Karen’s infectious laugh, her warm and constant smile, her love for young people and zest for life, these kids from across the country were changed, and the kingdom of God grew just a bit last week in Saltville.
This is just one of the many stories coming out of SERVE 2019! If you were involved in SERVE – and so many of you were – thank you! If you prayed, cooked, hammered, drove, spoke, ran sound, served a meal, or anything else, thank you! We couldn’t have done it without you! And lives were changed, eternally! God is so good!!
The Means to such an important End
On Saturday, June 15th, 74 teenagers and 34 adults arrived at Stono Baptist Church for Johns Island 2019! We worked for 10 homeowners, doing everything from mowing the yard to replacing the roof and literally everything in between! We replaced floors, painted houses, rehabbed kitchens and baths, replaced siding, and much more. We also worked on a facility that will be our future “home away from home” on the Islands.
On Saturday, July 17th, 55 teenagers and 15 adults arrived at Pleasant View United Methodist Church for Abingdon Serve 2019. These SERVE volunteers performed home repairs and painting, worked at Elk Garden School Community Ministry, and much more. A team of volunteers from our church as well as several “partner churches” completely outdid themselves doing all the “stuff” it takes to make a week like this possible, everything from preparing meals to praying to selecting job sites, helping on job sites and leading worship.
Lots of homeowners here in Abingdon and Washington County, and on Johns and Wadmalaw Islands in South Carolina, will have a higher standard of living because of the work of these volunteers.
But make no mistake about it. These home repairs are only the means to a much greater end.
In 10 years or so, the houses that were painted here in Abingdon will be ready for another coat of paint. In 20 years, the roofs we put on in Johns Island are going to need to be replaced. Nothing “physical” that we did at Johns Island or here in Abingdon will last.
But the spiritual work that happened in the lives of our teenagers will have eternal impact!
Just ask Tanner, who was baptized in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday night of Johns Island 2019. Or John, who is just beginning his journey with Christ and had question after question about what it takes to have a relationship with Jesus. Or the young man who was heavily engaged in spiritual warfare and who found freedom after talking with our counselors at Johns Island and after being prayed for by his friends. Just ask any of the teenagers who “spread their wings” and stepped out of their comfort zones to give devotions and share testimonies for our evening worship times. Ask the young lady who overcame her fear of heights in order to help nail shingles for a lady she’ll never see again. Or the girl who, against all odds, came out of her shell to be fully engaged in the mission trip, having the time of her life and vowing to return next year.
The work of Johns Island and of SERVE is not the work of building houses. Building houses is only the means to an end. The work of Johns Island and SERVE is investing in the lives of teenagers, pouring into them so they might have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Thank you for your prayers, your financial help, your encouragement and your participation in Johns Island and in SERVE. It’s making a difference in the lives of teenagers!! What we do here matters!
Hey...I'm HB. I'm the youth minister here at PVUMC.