Sometimes one may ask when considering a mission trip, “How do I know if God is really telling me to go and serve?” In Mark 10:45, Jesus says, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
On July 10, sixteen members of Cartledge Creek Baptist Church, Rockingham, landed at Logan Airport to begin a week of service in South Boston. This was the group’s second visit to assist with ‘Serve Southie’ week through Hub Church. The Hub Church members believe in “being the church” rather than just “attending church.”
Hub Church partners with South Boston organizations to serve the community and make it a better place to live, work, and play. The organizations include a growing list of community partners, including the Gavin Foundation, the Joseph Tierney Learning Center, The Oliver Perry School, and The Paraclete. Cartledge Creek team members spent the week serving at The Paraclete.
The Paraclete is a non-profit, after-school and summer educational enrichment program, offering students in Boston, grades 4-8, enrichment classes and field trips. Three of the mission members participated in a day-long field trip with the Paraclete students to Spectacle Island, a 105-acre island in Boston Harbor. The members interacted with the students as they compared cultures, played games, and shared their faith with the students. All group members were involved in painting, landscaping and cleaning the school and grounds.
There were also opportunities to talk with community members. One of the young men in the group had the opportunity to pray with a woman at a local park, while one of the young women got a chance to have an in-depth conversation with a young volunteer at Paraclete about his faith. A wonderful surprise came in the form of 2 servicemen who were in Boston for training. They were staying at the same hotel as the mission group and after meeting the team at breakfast one day they volunteered to help the group at Paraclete.
When asked what difference he believed the mission group made on this trip, mission member Steven Nicoletti stated that he felt the group was an encouragement to those who serve this community on an on-going basis. Community members were surprised that people would come so far just to help their community.
Rebecca Gilliam discussed some memorable experiences on the trip. She enjoyed “having the opportunity to meet the students at the school as well as participating in a water balloon toss with them.” Gilliam felt that it “helped put a face with what we did.”
Another memorable event for Gilliam was movie night on the beach. This event was arranged to provide fellowship among neighbors and Hub church members.
She said, “There was no way, because of the storm moving in, that the movie should have taken place, but we went on faith that it would happen. One group prayed, one group put the screen up, and yet another prepared snacks.”
Neighborhood families arrived and the rain held off. The trip proved to be a bonding experience for the mission team as they encouraged each other in their faith and service. It was clear to the team that, although they made mistakes and were far from perfect, God put them together for His purpose; to love Him and love others.
For more information on both Hub Church and The Paraclete, visit: http://hubchurchboston.com/ and www.paraclete.org.