News for 6/27/2018

Kids For Christ Mission Trip

Kids For Christ is the combined youth group for First St. John Lutheran, United Church, and St. John Lutheran churches. They took their annual mission trip to Kansas City to serve at the Veteran's Community Project and it was AWESOME!! What a blessing!!! They had 18 youth and 3 sponsors: Kyler Seemann, Jack Molzhan, Michael Gibson, Isaac Gaddis, Bryant Krueger, Olin and Seth Brown, Morgan Westbrook, Kendra Billings, Kennedy and Cameron Rietzke, Elizabeth and Abbey Hardacre, Lauren Gaddis, Casandra Gibson, TyLynn Blank, Tori Slavik, Maycee Westbrook, and sponsors Melissa Westbrook, Bill Molzhan, and Robin Billings. Together, this crew of 21 worked their hearts out and felt blessed by their efforts.

They left Sunday, June 17, after a pork sandwich lunch provided by the St. John WELCA ladies and arrived at the house they rented by late afternoon. The group got settled in and enjoyed a spaghetti supper, provided by the United Church. After supper, they drove to Union Station and walked around, took pictures of the kids and returned for our Bible study on Hacksaw Ridge. Then they watched the first part of the movie and showed the youth a little reality of war. The leaders wanted them to get a glimpse of this before going to serve at the Veteran's Community Project to help them better understand what these residents went through.

They arrived at their worksite at 9am and received a tour of the facility. The Veteran's Community Project is all run on donations and volunteer work. This way they can get things done more quickly, without red tape, and serve all veterans. Their definition of a veteran is "anyone who took the oath", which is different than the government's definition, which puts specifications on "who is a veteran". After the tour, the group set to work! They painted one office in the clinic, some rooms in the main office, tore out flooring, repainted a tiny house, cleaned the "show house", painted over graffiti on the outside of the building, and built 2 flower boxes. The group literally ran them out of work and were done by 3:00. They then went "home" to clean up, eat supper, and went to a Royals game. After the game, they finished our Bible study and let the kids who wanted to, watch the end of the movie.

The second day, Kids For Christ again started at 9:00, and VCP had created a whole new list of projects! This place was organized! They found many more painting jobs. Now everyone wanted their office painted, walls repainted, and second coats on the outside that covered the graffiti; we sorted donated items, and built 6 more planter boxes. The builders had a competition and set off! We used all the scrap lumber from their tiny houses to make the planters. They even added an army symbol to two of them....and then had to cut out more stars before leaving because they liked them so well!

The organization has 13 homes complete, and has a goal of 49 houses to be finished by next year! This is all transitional housing. The veterans need a "hand up, not hand out". Five people have transitioned out so far. There's much more to this story so if you'd like to know more, Kids For Christ will present their trip this coming Sunday, June 24, at 9:00 at St. John Lutheran and then again at the United Church at 10:30.