Catching up with alumni
Each year, we graduate any number of students from the Pearce Teen Ministry. Our goal is not just to get our students through high-school and prepared for college, but to connect them to Christ and the Church at large for their lifetimes. Therefore, ministry and relationships don’t end at graduation. They change some, and eventually become like friendships, but they never really end. It is always encouraging to see alumni who are living their lives for Christ. This summer has been especially sweet for Jackie and me as we have heard from a number of our past students who have shared with us the influence that our ministry has had on them. In a conversation with one kid (she’s now 30, but will always be our “kid”) she mentioned the impact we had on her life. I said, “Really? We really didn’t feel like we knew what we were doing 15 years ago.” She responded, “The consistency with which you lived out your faith as you lived your lives spoke everything I needed to hear.” Jackie and I were immensely blessed and humbled by this. Keep praying for our students, and keep living consistent lives–you never know who might be watching!
Speaking of Alumni
My younger son, Charlie (Boomer), heard about two Pearce Alumni that had trained with Jim Heeks in the Food Service Ministry. Josh Hunt and more recently Joe Hunt (no relation) both worked under the watchful eye of Jim in the kitchen, and Josh has now gone on to be a chef with Wegmans. Charlie loves to cook and thinks he might like to be a chef when he grows up. Hearing this, Jim invited him to come and begin the mentoring process. It is a joy to be a part of a church that has such cool opportunities and that has so many adults interested in having an impact on our students. Pictured above is Charlie working side by side with Monty Vitolins as they wash dishes from a Wednesday night dinner. The DNA of serving others for Christ is being passed on to the next generation at Pearce.
Pearce Teens–Bigger and Better
The teen program at Pearce recently kicked off their fall semester with a scavenger hunt, affectionately called “Bigger or Better.” The idea is simple: we break the teens up into groups, give each group a paperclip, and then we turn them loose on the neighborhood. They go from door to door offering their paperclip for something bigger or better then take that item to the next house. Above is the result of a half-hour’s worth of trades. It’s a great way for the teens to get out, do something crazy, and see what they can grow a simple paperclip into. The best items are being stored to sell at the spring Mission Garage Sale!
13 Pearce Students Kidnapped!
Each year, a new group of high-school freshmen enter Pearce Senior Teens. We strive to help them get acclimated quickly and to help them get established in the group as early in the year as possible. One of the ways we do this is with our annual “Senior Sneak Out.” This year, eight seniors met at Pearce at 6:15am on a Saturday morning to carry out our crazy scheme. The idea is to visit the homes of the freshmen, go into their bedrooms, wake them up, throw them in the car (while still in their pj’s), and bring them to my house for a special breakfast for seniors and freshmen. This has become a wonderful tradition that gives our 9th graders an immediate connection with our 12th graders. It is a special time of fellowship, storytelling, and prayer. Each year, we hear how much the freshmen look forward to their chance to be the kidnappers. Enjoy the photos–and no, none of them were given the opportunity to get dressed, brush teeth, or comb their hair!