For the Middle School Mission Trip, we went over to Spokane for a weekend. On Friday evening, we walked around the city and saw the different areas of downtown Spokane. The pretty city park with the river where many homeless people spend their nights, the mall and shopping areas, and the rundown buildings where nonprofit organizations are prominent. On Saturday, we helped Blessings Under the Bridge sort clothes for their program that they put on every Wednesday night. We were able to get to know the organization’s humble beginnings and serve very tangibly to have clothes prepared to give out the following Wednesday. Afterwards, we went to Cup of Cool Water to help with their bike shop. They use their bike shop as a mentorship program to give homeless or struggling kids responsibility and marketable skills. With enough internship hours, they even earn a bike to call their own! On Sunday morning, we attended a downtown church where homeless and struggling people go. It was a very eye opening experience to observe and participate in worship to God in a way and with people we normally wouldn’t see on a Sunday morning at 1st Pres. Thank you so much for the support you gave as a congregation for the students that went on this trip! It was such a good chance to serve our neighbors in Spokane.
The High School Mission Trip was so good! We partnered with an organization called YouthWorks that develops relationships with the communities that they serve in. They partner with organizations that already exist and help them grow their ministries and fill volunteer roles. As a youth group, we got sent to serve about 50 kids from kindergarten through middle school at the Salvation Army in Gresham for the first two days. Some of the kids were sweet and latched onto us so quickly and others took some time to warm up. By the end of the second day, so many of the kids that seemed disenchanted with their time at Salvation Army for the weekly daycare program were opening up and having a blast with us. God was moving so strongly during our time there. The next two days were spent helping out food banks in Portland. One was Birch Food Bank which goes above and beyond in helping people get back on their feet through financial classes, building job skills, and providing food weekly to families in their program. The Northwest Emergency Food Bank offers food for anyone that needs it in a very welcoming grocery store style look. The volunteers and workers at this food bank were wonderfully friendly and kind hard workers. Lastly, for service, we helped with a program called Night Strike where we had the amazing opportunity to wash the feet of our homeless neighbors in Portland. It was an incredibly humbling and lovely experience. Then we took a day to enjoy the beach at Seaside, Oregon before heading back home. Thank you for all of your support in prayer and finances so that all of us could attend this great trip that had such a big impact.