Too often, it may seem that professing Christians are busier doing church than being the church in our communities. Displaying the life of Jesus through his people, loving Jesus and loving others is the mantra that some local youth and their leaders carried in their hearts to Boone, N.C.
Youth minister Nathan Black and leaders Dixie Black and Travis Parks, along with 8 local youth from Cartledge Creek Baptist Church, in Rockingham, NC., recently traveled to Boone to participate in mission work through a ministry of the North Carolina Baptists on Missions program called Deep Impact. Other Deep Impact locations include additional sites in North Carolina (First Baptist in Rockingham), Philadelphia, Pa., and international in the Honduras and the Bahamas. Through this program, middle school students and adult leaders from across the state come together to work in area communities.
Eleven volunteers from Cartledge Creek participated in a specific ministry based on individual preferences; senior adult ministry, construction, community outreach. Youth minister Black said the work they performed was hard but well worth the effort. The senior adult ministry group worked in nursing homes and a residence, singing, playing games, visiting, and listening to the stories about their lives.
The construction group completed some landscaping, split wood and weeded the areas in need. The community outreach group worked at a homeless shelter, thrift store, daycare and gardened as well. This group also spent some time working at Samaritan’s Purse. For some, it was their first experience participating in an out-of-town mission experience. However, at the end of each day, the groups gathered at First Baptist Church of Boone for a devotion and discussion. Not only was a local mission being held, but the offering for the week was to raise money for wells and water filters in Cuba.
When it was time for the Cartledge Creek group to return home, Black stated, “They want to come back; they really seemed sad about having to leave. This group has a servant’s heart.” Black followed up enthusiastically, “They will walk away and know what being mission-minded is all about!”
When asked why he takes youth groups to learn about missions, Black said, “because of Jesus. When you read the bible, you see how Jesus ministered to and loved people. He got out of the church walls, into the community and met people where they were. That’s what we were trying to do, go into their homes, go into the nursing homes, go into the schools, just build relationships and connect with people. Share Jesus and live Jesus out in front of them.”
The theme for this mission trip, Galatians 2:20 seems appropriate. The church undeniably left the building, connected with others, developed relationships with individuals and ministered to people in Boone.
If you’re interested in learning more about Deep Impact, visit www.baptistsonmission.org/camps/deep-impact.