Sleeping on an air mattress on the floor is not everyone’s definition of a good time, but it is for the students and adult volunteers who go on mission through Kentucky Changers and Mission Adventure for Kentucky Kids. Last week I joined in the fun with with 240 Kentucky Changers participants and volunteers as they served in Calloway County (Blood River Baptist Association), June 18-24. I also kept tabs through Facebook on the children and leaders who were in Richmond and Bowling Green with Mission Adventure for Kentucky Kids.
Since I experienced Changers first hand, let me share a little about the week. After arriving on Saturday and getting settled in rooms at Calloway County High School, the week began with supper prepared by a great kitchen crew. The food is wonderful and in spite of working hard, it is not a week to lose weight! After supper, students were assigned to crews and met their crew chief and other students. They learned about the homes where they would be working and the jobs they would tackle together.
On Sunday, the Kentucky Changers attended worship with their host churches. These churches provided lunch every day at the work site for their Changers crew.
Nightly worship times were very special. Casey Jones led in praise and worship music. Nick Stamps was our camp pastor and challenged us all in our walk with Christ. Decisions for Christ were made throughout the week.
I was one of two photographers throughout the week. We traveled to the sites to capture pictures and video of the work. Students were a witness to a watching community as they toiled in the heat without complaint. In a day when students are in the news for all the wrong reasons, Kentucky Changers make an impact just by showing up to work and care for people with needs.
It was exciting for Kentucky Changers to be on the front page of the Murray Ledger & Times. I learned a new term when a local official shared her thanks in the closing celebration and mentioned that it was significant for the newspaper story to not only be on the front page, but also “above the fold.”
I spoke with several senior adults who were assisted by Kentucky Changers. They could not say enough good about the students who had come to work on their homes. We have posted two video testimonies.
A new part of the training for Kentucky Changers is on how to share your faith. Students learned how to share the plan of salvation and also wrote out their testimonies using the outline provided by Tell Your Story.Today. On one day’s recap video, we had the testimony of a student telling about her experience in sharing a “colors of faith” bracelet. It was great when students came to see Kentucky Changers Coordinator Peggy Murphy and tell her that they had given away their bracelet that day and needed another one. We always asked them to tell us about that experience. These students were always beaming when they told what had happened. One student participant in Hopkinsville told Peggy that learning to share her faith using the bracelet was the best part of the week.
While the Changers were hard at work, children and leaders also came together to do missions. Mission Adventure for Kentucky Kidds (MAKK) was held in Richmond, June 16-18, and Bowling Green, June 23-15. Through MAKK, boys and girls in grades 4-6 experience a missions trip where they participate in local ministries. The children also learn new skills and then lead in outreach activities with children in the community.
Kentucky students are ready to go to the next level and they can through MAKK and Kentucky Changers. Kentucky WMU provides opportunities for children and students to serve and witness. We are Kentucky proud of them!