This week I have a guest blogger, Tonya Bushard. Tonya is a friend and member of Resurrection Lutheran Church and she writes about her recent experience on a family mission trip.
We took our family service journey a little more local this year. Last year, the Bushard family went to Eagle Butte, SD to join about 40 others on a Youthworks multi-generational mission trip. We stayed on an Indian reservation. After a great first experience, two other families joined us for another. This time, we did a family mission trip in Superior, WI.
The overall concept of these pre-planned mission trips is to spend ample time as a family and serve a broader community through various service projects. We stay overnight in a host church where we worship, eat and play with several other families from around the Midwest. This year, we assisted a nursing home with some outdoor landscaping chores, joined residents indoors at a nursing home to play games, helped our host church with their large monthly public food pantry and did a little painting at another church.
The daily service projects inspired us to brainstorm how we could go home and continue to serve in our own community. We have decided to build relationships 1 mile from our home at the local nursing home. We plan to attend their activity time to play cribbage or just stick around to chat with the residence. And we are also hoping to bring our lapdog, Coco, to help us serve.
The most rewarding piece of the trip for us is the combination of appreciation from those we served and watching the spirit of service grow in our children. Each of my children had a great experience of love and service.
Zoe, “The people at nursing home smiled when they saw us. They had fun playing trivia with us. I am excited to get to know some of the people at our nursing home.”
Alex, “I love playing games so going to the nursing home to play cribbage with the guys was fun. They were competitive like me.”
Zack, “I felt God sent me to play with the boys who lost their mom and had a sick dad. I made their week go by faster and they had fun.”
It is a great reminder of our blessings and Jesus’ call to help those in need. Our ability to immerse ourselves in service and fellowship by serving out-of-town is very unique and augments the overall experience; really brings it home. The youth and multi-generational trips are each four days. Our family mission trip was two days of service.
We were really happy to have two other families with us this year. We have such a great experience each year that we hope more and more families from Resurrection join in the opportunity in the coming years.