...Know, Grow, Go, Show, Sow
National mission fields give our members an opportunity to step out of their comfort zones and serve others in meaningful ways. From repairing homes to teaching children about how much God loves them, no one returns from a mission trip without feeling their life has been changed.
South Dakota - Since 2006 we have sent mission teams to the Yankton Sioux Reservation to minister to the community, lead Bible studies, and coordinate a summer vacation Bible school for local children. We partner with Cedar Presbyterian Church on the reservation, and are actively involved in helping the church repair and renovate its facilities. In 2011 we hosted nine members of the Dakota Presbytery to share their faith stories and to visit Native American historical sites in our area.
Unemployment, poverty, and depression are oppressive factors in this community. Our goal is to support the local church in bringing comfort and hope to the people through an understanding of God's love. The trust some of our team members have built with members of the community over the years is a testament to the Holy Spirit at work in this community. This summer our team returns to the reservation to continue to build relationships, serve others, and help people know Christ.
Read about one of our home-grown, South Dakota missionaries: Gayle Schrack.
Alaska - Since 2007, we have sent teams to the southeastern spur of Alaska to work with the Salvation Army to minister to the local community and to coordinate a vacation Bible school program for children. In 2011 two members of the Salvation Army in Juneau visited our church to share their work and its impact on the community they serve.
West Virginia - Our youth and their leaders have completed numerous mission trips to the area to help with service projects. The work is coordinated by a local organization.
This really is an eye-opening experience for a lot of our teens, some of whom have never been outside Northeast Ohio except for family vacations. It gives them the opportunity to see severe poverty right here in our own country, and how much their help--fixing a roof or building a deck--is appreciated by the families they meet.
The teens also have one day in the middle of the week to enjoy some of the local recreational offerings. White water rafting, zip-lining, and swimming are some of the favorites.
In December 2012, we partnered with Group Mission Trips for a disaster relief workday in Keansburg, a coastal community devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Our 8-man work team installed insulation, drywall, and flooring to get the home of a retired couple ready for winter.
Read about their experience here.
In addition to our summer mission trips, we support a missionary with Campus Crusade. Lisa Smith serves on the Great Lakes Regional Team and is responsible for training and supporting first-year missionaries to universities in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Illinois.