I am so excited to be going once again on a mission trip with UM ARMY. If I have never talked your ear off about UM ARMY, it stands for United Methodist Action Reach-out Mission by Youth. It is an organization that is 40 something years old that has been helping churches connect with one another and local communities where they do mission work. Like two years ago, we have one student going, and since there are no scheduling conflicts, I get to go too! I will be on the safety team, making sure everyone stays safe, drinks enough water, and thanks to Covid-19, I get to take temperatures.
UM ARMY has a special place in my heart. When I was sixteen, I went on my first trip. I did not want to go, but my dad was the pastor, so I had to go. I came up with all kinds of excuses about why I shouldn’t go, like how I would get heatstroke and die, but my mom, the nurse, said to drink water and that I would be fine. I was glad that they made me go on my first mission trip because I was able to see that even I, a teenager, could do work to help out others. I learned that I could be the answer to someone’s prayers, that God could use even me in that way. I was able to see that teenagers aren’t what they appear in media and that they were not always lazy and slept all day. At UM ARMY, teens and adults come together to sleep on the floor on air mattresses, shower in local gyms, do chores without complaining, and work outside in the hot Texas sun. And they did that not just for no pay, but actually paid or raised money to go! Throughout the week, we will gather in the morning and evening to worship God, and we will undergird everything with prayer, hoping that God will use us to bless the community we are in.
Thanks to your generous gifts, we are able to fully fund our young person going to camp. I hope you can join us on Sunday and pray over her and me as we get ready to join over a hundred other people in Bryan, TX, to do God’s work. I encourage you to pray throughout the week for us and everyone on that trip, and all the people we are able to help.