Shop ‘Til You Drop
The Romania Mission team for the summer of 2015 has been confirmed. Every three years, the Pearce Student ministries offer an international mission experience and our next trip will be July 17-29. This will likely be our final trip to Romania. Our missions logistics team and I have put a number of these trips together over the years, and have become very efficient in organizing them. We have also developed an application process that has proven to help create teams that will work well together, will stretch one another, and which avoid many of the pitfalls that often occur in mission situations. Students in 10th-12th grade were encouraged to apply, provide written responses to a number of questions, and then participate in an interview process. The teens that worked through this process and which have subsequently been selected are Aurora Coleman, Makayla Coleman, Danielle Garratt, Casey Eich, Aaron Monroe, Sarah Thomson, Sharissa Morton, Noah Spencer, Ethan Woeller, Rachelle Johnson, Nolan Hopkins, Liam Hopkins, and leaders Duane Eich, Diane Johnson, Karen Hopkins, Maurice Hopkin,s and Mike Kuhlkin. On December 17, we had our first team meeting, where we enjoyed dinner together and then ventured out to do some shopping for the upcoming event at Chili Commons. The team will continue to meet once a month for spiritual development, bonding, and trip preparations. Keep us in prayer, and we will keep you informed on fundraising, other needs, and prayer requests.
As I wrote the title, I had to sing it in my best Tevye voice. Count it a blessing that you were not in my office at the time. The Pearce Teens have few traditions. Unfortunately, traditions get a bad rap: like we are unwilling to change, or we have created some kind of golden calf. Sometimes these critiques are valid, but I don’t believe it to be the case with our annual Christmas Progressive Dinner. Each year, we gather the teens together to celebrate what God has been doing in our lives and we share meals with numerous families from the Pearce community. This yearly event offers us an opportunity to break bread together, fellowship with one another, and build on our inter-generational relationships as we visit various homes for appetizers, salad, dinner, and dessert.
Our teens have been working hard at loving our neighbors to the south. This Christmas, we again sponsored a “Christmas Celebration” at Chili Commons. We provided crafts, cookies to decorate, a Christmas pageant with live farm animals, and a visit from Santa—complete with gifts that were actually on the children’s Christmas lists. Last year, we heard from parents who said it was “the first Christmas play” their child had ever been in. We were able to provide gifts to 40 children this year. I wish you could have watched as they opened these presents and screamed with excitement as they received gifts that expressed real thought and love. The Pearce congregation did a great job sponsoring children, purchasing gifts, and helping us pull off this incredible expression of God’s extravagant love for His children.