See? It's not too difficult...

One of the things I forgot on the mission trip a couple of weeks ago is that the workcamp sends out to all the churches participating the email and snail mail addresses for the camp office, so students can receive messages from home. One of the reasons I forgot about it was that all my kids have cell phones, and are almost never out of contact to begin with-- that's a whole different issue and I'll tackle it later.

Grace United Methodist, of Gaithersburg, VA, had a really clever system worked out to keep their students supported on the road. Back home, the members of their church had an info page with a photo and some basic facts about each student, and prayed for the whole group. Members also had a few students each to keep in touch with over the week through email.

They didn't have to send long correspondence, just a note here and there-- the notes didn't even have to be relevant to the workcamp. Some of the students I met had notes that included recipes; movie times in Anchorage, Alaska; lists of things on a friend's dresser; a page of pet names all beginning with the letter "P."

These kids were laughing about their notes the whole week, and that little touch of support (there were also members designated to send care packages once or twice through the week, so there was a constant flow of snacks as well) kept them strong during the week.

One of my prime guidelines about youth ministry is that it must be connected in significant ways to the mission of the whole church-- not a separate group off by itself. Grace definitely had that connection going in West Virginia this year. And I offer it, complete with the list of random things to send, as a mission we may all want to take on next mission trip season!

No comments: