As we traveled to New Mexico there were many things going on, such as exhaustion, building new friendships, shaping old ones and singing at the top of our lungs. With all of this happening we quickly became united as a Mission Team, all with the same goal in mind; being the Salt and Light to the Navajo people and anyone else we encountered. Many times during the trip we felt too tired to function, but through it all we were successful in ministering at Pine Tree Church, Blue Mountain Church and Kirtland Hope Evangelical Church. Overall, the physical work we did consisted of painting, yard work, picking up trash, installing motion lights and general clean up.
The first place we stayed was Broken Arrow Bible Ranch near Pine Tree Church. The weather was very arid, allowing us to spend a lot of time outside. During our free-time there were many things to occupy us including fellowship with one another, playing games, taking pictures and exploring the property. Each evening we had devotions from a different person. I feel this allowed for each one to really examine themselves, how God is working in them and what they need to change in their own lives. On a daily basis, God brought me closer to other Christian friends. He changed my view on non-Christians and people in general. I often get caught up in life and I forget to think about how others are struggling, too, and that they need to be given grace daily just as God gives us grace.
Worship was a huge part of this trip. Each night before devotions, we would have a worship time with songs, and each night it got better. The best times were when it was held outside in God’s universe. It was during this time I personally could really feel God’s presence. It was a wonderful atmosphere worshiping together.
During this trip, even when complications, issues or problems came up, we all worked together to find the best solutions, and God kept us safe and calm. During our travels, there were a couple of times where there could have been serious issues or injuries, but by
God’s protection we all made it safely to New Mexico and back to Oregon City.
One of my favorite parts of the whole Missions trip, was the last night before heading for home. We went to Dave and Carol Kochendorfer’s home and had a barbeque, played mini-golf and games, and sang silly childhood songs from Church. Everyone was really united at this point in the trip. God worked in us and in turn, He allowed us to work in other people’s lives. Through working and being the hands and feet of God, experiencing fellowship with one another and having the support of Youth Ministries at our Church, we were able to be the Salt and Light to many people, leaving a lasting impact on us as young people.
A special note from Rev. Josh Shelton – Pastor of Student Ministries
It was an honor to lead the trip that Sadie went on along with 26 other people. This was my first trip with Evangelical Church Missions FAITH ADVENTURES Teams, and it won’t be my last. If you haven’t gone on a FAITH ADVENTURES Team yet, you need to contact Pat O’Neill (email@example.com - 503.342.3588) at the Missions Office to get your group booked for one. Short-term Missions trips have received some bad press over the years in youth ministry journals and other ministry articles. However, for me I disagree with what I read. Short-term Missions Trips have a large impact on the Team in a spiritual way that carries over to the larger group. For 13 years I have lead a Short-term Missions trip, and every year I have youth that are more passionate and on fire for the Lord. Short-term Missions trips are a HUGE BENEFIT to a youth ministry and Church. As a denomination, we are blessed to have a low-cost option at our finger-tips that helps people to be Salt and Light.
Praise Jesus for the mighty work he has done through this Team that went to New Mexico over Spring Break!