Living with More Compassion Mission Trip
BURLESON, TEX. – The Southwestern Union Youth and Young Adults Department hosted its annual “Living with More Compassion” mission trip. This year they went to South Louisiana on March 6-12, 2022. Along with others, we had three schools in our Union participate. Jefferson Christian Academy (JCA), North Dallas Adventist Academy (NDAA) and Killeen Adventist Junior Academy (KAJA).
We often believe that the emphasis of mission trips or outreach events are primarily for those being ministered to. However, many times the participants return with their lives changed and on fire to continue helping those around them.
“I was there to be the hands and feet of Jesus… to help fill a need in South Louisiana. The people that we met filled a need in my life just as much, if not more,” said Bo Gendke, Texas Conference Adventist Community Services Director.
Angela Garcia, a student at JCA shared, “Most of the buildings and land we saw were just awful. I didn't really want to work on it at first, it just all seemed very overwhelming. But my attitude quickly changed when I saw the people we were helping. They were so happy, even if we performed the tiniest little task. And they tried their hardest to let us know about that happiness by providing what they could for us. I can say it was an amazing experience; and I learned a life lesson on compassion.”
God is using so many of us right here in the Southwestern Union to show compassion to His people. “Being able to help others who need you gives me a special kind of joy.” shared Keona Frederick, NDAA student.
“It was an eye opening experience. Even though it was only a couple of days of work, I hope that it made a positive impact and showed others God’s love. It was also fun exploring New Orleans and learning a bit of its history,” said Rebekah Hoops, KAJA student.
This mission trip was even more unique as some of the main projects the volunteers worked on were community gardens. They raised garden beds, tilled soil and planted herbs and vegetables. The volunteers completed a total of five gardens. New gardens were created on the Osborne property of the Baton Rouge Berean church, at Caffin Avenue church, at Slidell Glad Tidings church and at the New Orleans Adventist Academy. The Greater New Orleans Christian Academy had a garden which was revitalized and a beautification garden was created for the Emmanuel church.
The Slidell Glad Tidings church members were so happy to see the interior of their church receive a new coat of paint. The Baton Rouge Berean church was power washed and cleaned, and brush was cleared from its fence line. Many projects were completed in southern Louisiana, and at one point students were even able to provide meals for the homeless.
We had many guest speakers join us on Sabbath from the Southwestern Union, the Arkansas-Louisiana Conference and the Southwest Region Conference. We believe that we must be the sermon showing the love of God. please pray for us as we prepare to be the hands and the feet of Jesus Christ for next year’s mission trip.
By Helvis C. Moody
Young Adult and Youth Director