By Portia Williams
The youth group at Cornerstone United Methodist Church (CUMC) in Portsmouth took a week long excursion to Washington D.C. for a mission trip. The group of 19, composed of youth and adult leaders made the trip putting their faith in action. Much of the work centered around the homeless.
Working a farm that provides food to the homeless, and meeting the homeless face to face on the streets of D.C. The CUMC group performed house and yard work for people that are not able to care for their own homes. Doug Shugert, a member of CUMC and youth leader, said the trip has been extraordinary.
“It has been such a great experience growing closer to God this week” Shugert said.”We’ve worked with an organization ‘Age in Place’ that pairs up with elderly people helping them keep up with their house work; we worked on a local farm hoeing, spreading straw, and harvesting crops of which about 40 percent are given to local food pantries, and had the opportunity to spend time ministering face-to-face with the homeless population of DC on the streets.”
The participants on the trip include the following youth and adults:
Youth: Zachary Shugert, Caleb Tener, Owen Guilliams, Bethany Flannery, Ashley Brown, Emily Raney, Jayla Bowling, Ryan Penn, Morgan Grashel, Jacob Fraley, Abbey Halcomb
Adults: Bill Hobstetter, Rochelle Barney, Sarah Prosch, George Link, Kate Anderson, Steve Climer, Rob Shugert and Doug Shugert
Senior Pastor Tim Roth, said Mission Week provides an faith-strengthening experience for participating youth.
“Mission week is always a great experience for those who are served, but it also helps strengthen the faith of the youth who go to serve,” Roth said. “The youth have said things like “This is the greatest week of my life.” or “I never knew I could be so close to God.” It is the hope of the youth leaders to see growth and humility in the youth, to see the kids have a life changing experience, and to serve those who could use a helping hand.”
In addition assisting the homeless, and giving of their time, and energy, the youth did have a chance to play hacky sack, a game that involves the use of feet and small foot bags in front of the White House.
On the CUMC website, Shugert said the following about mission work,”In the past, the church in general has focused it’s mission work on those ‘in need.’ Unfortunately, this concept has given us an “us and them” mentality. God clearly wants us to have an “us” mentality. There is no ‘them,’ we are all children of the Most High.”
He said the service of the CUMC youth has truly been a labor of love.
“It seems hard to believe that over the past nine years we have helped over 50 families see the love of God in the people of Go,” he said. “We have done things that most people have no idea how to do. We have also done things for people that most people don’t want to do. From the tiresome and tedious to the new and exciting, the youth here at Cornerstone have showed God’s amazing love through it all.”
For more information at the church office 740-353-2548, or visit the church website at: www.cumc-portsmouth.org.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.