Ignoring Justice: The Shortcomings of the Youth Mission Trip

Ignoring Justice: The Shortcomings of the Youth Mission Trip

I remember the first mission trip that I went on well. My youth group spent a week in New Orleans, LA helping a local missionary group run a Vacation Bible School for neighborhood kids. Our objective, we were told, was simple: bring Jesus to a place where he was desperately needed – a place where he was often rejected. The implication that I drew, at fifteen years old, was that the poverty and the the street-side memorials for victims of gun violence I was seeing, and the seeming absence of almost any man over thirty, existed because this community had rejected Jesus. If only Jesus were in their hearts, everything would be different. 

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Janis Rule Announces Retirement

Janis Rule Announces Retirement

I know for me, as one of the pastors and a parent in the program, it has been an absolute pleasure working alongside Mrs. Rule. In just two, short years, she instituted a new curriculum; moved enrollment to full capacity with a waiting list; generated tons of goodwill between teachers, parents, the church, and the community; and, most importantly, she expanded all of our understandings of what it means to see and love a child.

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