every now and then i have wi fi access at the mission trip i am presently on and so i now have the chance and ability to post. the trip has been positive and negative at the same time.
first the positive.
- the church we are working with in doing a neighborhood vacation bible school has been amazing. all of the teens and adults have loved the church and the kids. this church is incredibly interested in being involved with their community. it’s great.
- the church has also made us feel very welcome there. they have been very enjoyable to hang out with. we already feel like we belong with them.
- the kids we are working with have been amazing. they are starved for attention, and love being with our teens. therefore, our teens have loved being with them. our teens have befriended the kids of the neighborhood we are in with an intense and great love that i am sure GOD is honored by.
- my teens – enough said. i have the greatest youth and youth workers in the world. i love them. they take any situation and work with it.
now for the negative
- the whole program has been very poorly organized. every leader’s meeting i go to has a volunteer in it rather than staff and the meeting ends up with the volunteer having to say over and over, “i’m sorry i don’t know i’ll have to ask part of the leadership team.” why have a meeting and waste my time if it’s not going to answer questions. the most telling statement of the disorganization is that all of the schedules given to the teens have been wrong. so from the first day all 500 teens that are here have been dependent upon their leaders for knowing what was supposed to happen.
- whoever planned the schedule has no understanding of the developmental needs of teens. consider trying to control middle schoolers as you take their whole saturday and push them through 4 one and a half hour long “training” sessions with only lunch for a break. the sermons weren’t even active in their nature. it was 6 hours of lecture and singing. or consider being forced to keep 500 teens quiet for an hour right outside of the church’s first worship service waiting for the moment that the pastor calls for them to dramatically march into the service and be “commissioned” for all the church to see.
- on the schedule we have free time but in truth it is merely travel time. this translates to everyone feeling tired and worn out.
so the good side of all this is that all the stuff that we have planned and done at our work church has been very positive and our kids have loved it. this means that my teens will leave with a good experience that has brought them closer to GOD and our work church will have been able to use us as tools to extend their ministry. the bad side is that i have basically paid someone else lots of money for me to do my own mission trip, because what they have done has added very little good.
if you can’t tell i’m a little bitter.