In Our Own Words: Youth Mission At Montreat

Each Montreat retreat, our Church youth volunteer to serve at a local mission organization.

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Each Montreat retreat, our Church youth volunteer to serve at a local mission organization. The following is the “Minute for Mission” that our youth delivered during our Montreat worship service. Each of our youth also participated in the reading, which you can listen to using the player above.

The prayer of Saint Teresa of Avila begins:

​Christ has no body now, but yours.​ No hands, no feet on earth, but yours.​ Yours are the eyes through which he looks​ with compassion on this world.

Yesterday morning, eleven youth and our leaders met early for breakfast and shared some scripture. We would like to recommend two readings for your consideration this next week before Response Sunday: Matthew 25:31-40 and James 2:14-17.  After breakfast, we headed out into a beautiful but chilly morning and loaded into the vans to head into Asheville to once again pair with the Asheville Youth Mission to serve, this time at the Manna Food Bank.

We learned that in this county, 1 in 4 children doesn’t get enough to eat. This can affect their health and their ability to grow and learn. These children get meals at school during the week, but often have nothing to eat over the weekend. Yesterday we helped with the MannaPacks program which provides roughly 4200 children with take-home packs of food every week. We filled 800 bags with boxes of macaroni and cheese, cans of soups and vegetables, granola bars, and fruit cups, all from local donations. We were able to see how important each individual volunteer is in the process. Some people donate the food. Some people sort the food and make the packs. And others deliver the meals. There’s something that each person can do, and this seemingly overwhelming task needs each and every person.

As we worked, we recalled our morning reading from the book of Matthew. We imagined the confusion of the righteous and the unrighteous alike to learn that to feed or clothe our fellow man is to do the same for Christ himself. And we thought of the passage from James: “If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,’ and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that?”

for I was hungry and you gave me food from the Loaves and Fishes cart,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you welcomed me to the Fellowship Hall on Wednesday night,
I was naked and you gave me clothing from the clothes closet,
I was sick and you took care of me with a card or a phone call,
I was in prison in my own home or by my own fears and you visited me.

We are called to be disciples in both word and deed. Our service is as much a part of our faith journey as our study and our worship, and any opportunity to share God’s love is an opportunity to grow spiritually. Luckily, there is something that each of us can do, no matter our age or ability. We can’t all pack bags or move boxes of cans; we don’t all feel comfortable singing in the choir or teaching Sunday school; but there is a response in all of us to the gifts that God gives to us.

This beautiful weekend was a very enjoyable start and it was easy to do.  We hope you’ll join us some time.  And we look forward to serving and studying with you all this next year.