ANDERSON, Ind. —
Returning from a mission trip to St. Louis a couple of weeks ago, the Liberty Christian School juniors have tales to tell of lessons learned. From experiencing the joy of helping others to witnessing the way God provides for people’s needs, the students expressed growth in many different areas.
“I had never been on a mission trip before so I learned how good it felt to help others and not just do things for yourself,” said Baylee Oren, 17. This is her first semester at Liberty. “After we did something for them, we could see the joy they got from it.”
Spending several days working with a church that serves the homeless regularly, the juniors helped in a myriad of ways. They worked on the building (built in 1895 and in serious need of attention), sorted and folded clothing to be provided to the homeless and processed meat for the regularly served meals for those living on the streets. They even got to trash dive for shoes.
“Just when the church was about to run out of shoes to give to the needy, someone called and told of a shoe store that had gone out of business and thrown all of their samples away,” said Analiesa Smith, English teacher and chaperone. “We fished them out and started sorting them. They pulled out about 2,000 shoes so it took them a long time to find matches.”
“It’s amazing how things just happen,” said Jarrod Fields, discipleship director and Bible teacher. “They needed more shoes for the clothing distribution and they found the samples. They need meat for the meals and a restaurant donates scraps because they want their tenderloins a certain size — that’s 500 pounds of meat per week. The volunteer told us that they don’t have any money but God continues to provide.”
Liberty Christian High School structures mission trips for each grade, starting with projects in Anderson for the lower grades, moving to an out-of-state trip for juniors and finally a journey to the Dominican Republic for seniors.
“We are following the pattern of the Great Commission by starting out where they are and then going into neighborhoods and then outside their state and finally overseas,” Fields said. “By taking them away for a week, they really get outside of their comfort zone.”
“Poverty exists in Anderson, but sometimes we turn a blind eye to it,” Smith said. “By getting them outside what they are used to seeing, they become awakened. When they come home, they continue that service.”
From Here to There: A Series about Madison County residents that travel to help their fellowman. If you know of an individual or civic, school or church group that has embarked on a mission trip in the last year, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.