God had great plans for the High School Youths’ Summer Mission Trip to Savannah, GA.  Come along and be inspired by this young groups’ heart to serve as we visit a few special people, places, and moments along their journey.

Pastor Sam Schick, Deaconess Emily, Vicar Matthew, and his wife Amy accompanied our youth to the beautiful and steamy city of Savannah.  Pastor Schick shared the theme and fond memories of their adventure,  John 15:12: “This is my commandment, that you love each other as I have loved you.”.  Our God has loved us with his entire life in the person of Jesus.  We reflected on this awesome love, and practiced reflecting it as best we can through our own lives of sacrifice. Just the idea of going on a mission trip is a sacrifice. All of our students gave up a week of their summer to serve somebody else, but what happened in Savannah was a greater blessing than many of us expected. I saw joy in our youth as they got to learn the stories of people who lived to serve their communities, like when Jasie and Libo got to talk about what a gift gardening is to people in the community even beyond the gift of food. This conversation took place while both of them had dirt up to their elbows from weeding all morning. I saw our students aim to serve to the best of their ability, as our team aimed to serve as many veterans as possible. We pushed ourselves physically and mentally to fill an entire pallet of boxes of food in 19 minutes and 30 seconds. I also saw our youth taking time to build their relationship with God. 

Here with Mr. Charlie at The Garden of Garden City, our youth weeded and prepared ground for the community garden.  When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father, John 15:8.

At the Salvation Army, our group hosted a program for less privileged youth so they could spend time together and hear about Jesus. They also helped organize and did some cleaning in the kitchen.

During their time at Tharros Place, they patched holes in walls, painted, dug out a patio, and power washed the home. Tharros Place provides support and shelter for survivors of human trafficking by providing residential services for girls between the ages of 12-17.  

After reflecting on the trip a few days, Nathan S. thought, ” The trip was brought down by God to open my eyes. I met and saw people who have so much less than me and have been through so many more hardships than me, praising God for the things they had.  I saw all of the things God wants me to do with my life; to dedicate myself to serving others and using every opportunity to be of service and spread God’s love. There are so many people out there who are struggling, so I will gladly suffer so they can suffer less, if that is what it takes to spread the love of God.”

The City of Savannah put our kids to work beautifying some of the homes in the community.  

Below is a picture at Union Mission, an organization that brings hope to the homeless of Savannah.  It’s also a resource center for kids.  During their visit, our youth learned about the ministry and organized clothing. In September 2022, their newest house opened for women.  Parker’s House is the only solely dedicated 90-day program along the I-95 corridor from Florida to South Carolina. The new house includes 16 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, a common kitchen, living room, dining room, laundry room, computer room, outdoor courtyard, and learning center.  Since opening, 185 women have left their makeshift beds on the street, in cars, or on couches to rest comfortably, gain access to food and clothing, and develop a plan moving forward.

Pastor Schick got to sit down with a few young men and talk about the places that God puts us; how we can see him working through everyday circumstances to lead us deeper into faith in him and service to others. Overall, our youth who came through this trip formed deep bonds with each other that will carry them with a strong peer group of believers. They also walked away with a desire to serve. Our youth got to practice loving more like Christ has loved them, and now they want to do that here.

HSY is a fun ministry that empowers young people to lead Christ-filled lives.  If you’d like to join our High School Youth Group or know someone who might be interested, the Kickoff is this Sunday and they meet every Sunday, 6-8 pm at St. Luke’s.  

We give thanks for our youth, ministry leaders, volunteers, and supporters of St. Luke’s HSY.  Thank you for all you do to make our communities a better place and for sharing God’s love.