Saturday, July 18, 2015

Closer to God: Missions in Indianapolis - Part 1

The crew on the way to HVAF.
This past week, the high school and middle school youth groups went on a mission trip to Indianapolis. In the high school group was Matthew Grode and myself, Mitch Ward. The middle school group included Mickey, Michael, Dalton, and William. Our chaperones were Chris Grode and Stephanie Ward. At Indianapolis, we had the time of our lives serving others and serving God. We worked at the Hoosier Veteran's Assistance Foundation, or HVAF. Everyone had great fun serving, sorting clothes that were to be given out, cleaning out rooms, and cleaning yards. It was really an eye opening experience, one that none of us will likely ever forget.

Our trip started out just like any trip should; we arrived an hour late at the church where the mission groups were gathering. When we did finally arrive after a four hour drive, we claimed our space in the large basement area of the church where we would be sleeping. We found out where and with whom we would be working. We had free time until we went to sleep that night. As I lay in my sleeping bag, I was sure that tomorrow would be rewarding.

The next day, I and several others woke early to serve breakfast to all 130 people that were participating in the mission that week from all over the Midwest. After breakfast and the morning service, we were ready to leave for HVAF. We arrived at the facility and met our leader, Rachel, who would show us where to go and how to do our work. She was a volunteer that had been working there for a little over a year.

That first day, we went down to the basement of the facility we were at and sorted through donated clothes, throwing out stained and tattered ones, and giving outdated clothes to a local church. I quickly learned that I have no ability to discern what clothes look bad and are outdated, as you can tell by my own wardrobe on Sunday mornings! After our lunch, a storm came and flooded the basement. Rachel decided to send us back to the church we were staying at. There, we spent the rest of our day, ate dinner, and slept. I was extremely tired by the end of this first day and slept quite soundly.

Thankfully, we didn't have serve breakfast the next morning, as all the churches took their turn serving meals. After a breakfast of dry pancakes and cold sausage, we went back to HVAF, where we went back down to the basement, which was now dry. We sorted more clothes and reorganized their racks of clothing. After lunch, we went to another facility nearby and cleaned out their basement as well, throwing out trash and keeping things that they would use again. Even though we had a significant amount of trash by the end of the day, all nearby trash bins were full, so we would have to wait until tomorrow to throw them out. When we were done, we went back to the first HVAF facility and cleaned out a little garden/patio area, picking weeds and sweeping up dirt and dust. We came back to the church exhausted yet again, and sleeping was very easy that night.

Even though we came back exhausted every day and woke up every morning tired, it was very worth it to help our country's veterans, who have served us in ways we can't imagine. I am privileged that Berean Christian Church helped raise the funds to help us grow God's kingdom in Indianapolis and in our hearts. In the next couple days, we met and talked with several homeless veterans, which I'll talk about next time.

In His service,
Mitch Ward

No comments:

Post a Comment