Today was our first day of the YoungFriends component of our trip. We started the day off with a team devotional and then we began the service project portion of the trip. We are doing some renovations to the church building, both inside and out. Some of us were inside taping baseboards, light switches and outlets, and the ceilings, and others were outside painting the fence around the building. Artjoom (Ar-t-yoom) a local Christian teenager who is part of the Asunduse Church even came to help us out! Artjoom told us how amazing he thinks it is that we would travel so far not to be tourists but to help people and also to give of our time to help them fix up their building. Hearing such encouragement reminds me of how worth it these short term mission trips are.
Tomorrow we will begin painting inside. We worked from 9:30-11:30 and then had lunch and party prep, and soon our readers were showing up and it was time to begin!
If you are confused about what YoungFriends even is, it is an English conversation group made up of Canadian teens, local teens from the church, and new local teens who are wanting to practice their English and make new friends.
Here is exactly what our team is doing: we have divided our Canadian team into two groups, five in each. Then we each have a handful of local Christians and a handful of local teens who want to practice their English. We actually had sixteen people show up today!
The book of Luke has been translated into simple English for the purpose of sharing the gospel with those who speak English as a second language. YoungFriends has then broken up the book of Luke into 13 separate lessons. We do one lesson in every 45 minute reading session. At first we just spend time getting to know one another and talking about our day. Then the local teens take turns reading a paragraph and afterward we spend time discussing the lesson, to ensure they understood what they read and also to have conversations about our lives and our thoughts. Even if a reader does not yet believe, the book of Luke is such a great platform for getting to know one another, building friendships and planting seeds.
We did one session, had a snack break, then had a second session with the same people and then had our party. Today’s party was a Canada party thrown by Becki, Brenna and Brenam. They had several fun games that took us on a journey across the provinces of Canada. I think everyone had lots of fun!
Afterward we went out for supper just as a team and I personally loved having some time with just the team! It is awesome to have our new friends around too but I think some time alone together was needed!