We Can Influence Others! – Josias’ Story
Josias, a student at Lake Park High School, shares his perspective about our influence on other people.
“We accomplished so much this week and learned a lot that I will be able to take with me for the rest of my life.” (Jeremy P. — 2017 Lake Park High School Graduate)
While Jeremy pointed out the high level of activity, this week was evidently meaning full for each one of our students, the community members of Peace of Christ Church, welcomed us warmly and served us too. From housing our team and providing dinner for us every night, each day a member of the community would come lead our group in a discussion based on the 7 practices at the core of their church.
“I’m thankful for the Westmont community and I am sad that we’re leaving because we’ve made relationships with a lot of the people we met this week.” (Heather M.– 2017 Lake Park High School Graduate)
Teens are finding what they are looking for at Bloomingdale Church’s Coffeehouse. Although the games, music, snacks, and the coffee are popular, they are not what brings students back every Friday night. Claire L (13, Glenbard East HS in Lombard) told us, “It’s like a family.”
Life is confusing, scary and lonely. Whether you are homeschooled or attending a large public school, junior high and high school are a particularly challenging time in development. No matter how solitary of a life you create for yourself, you have a natural need to fit in somewhere. Mark F (16, Glenbard North HS in Carol Stream) told us, “These people are going to care for you, care about you. They’re going to genuinely want to know what’s going on in your life and they’re going to pray for you. I don’t think there’s anything else like that.”
Why is Coffeehouse different? Because it was developed as a safe and welcoming community center—properly supervised by fun adults who care.
Grant P (16, Roselle) told us, “It’s pretty much like home, I can’t imagine life without it.”
All teens are encouraged to bring friends. No one is expected to be comfortable walking in alone, but we guarantee no one will be alone for long. Check us out.
*Quotes are from ACTUAL REAL LIVE TEENS from Bloomingdale Church. No teens were harmed or harassed in the writing of this story.
What do you get when you combine an ambitious vision for a group of students, dedicated adults, commitment to serving others, and community partnership with a local church? You get the Marquardt Student Service Society – a group of fifty Marquardt 7th graders who were formed with much effort between the school district, faculty members along with the support and collaboration of Bloomingdale Church. The group’s purpose centers on personal development and growth through acts of service to the community.
On Friday, May 20, the Youth Group at Bloomingdale Church invited the MSSS to an appreciation party. Bloomingdale Church Student Interns and adult volunteers participated in planning and having different stations for the Marquardt students to enjoy: Gagaball and street hockey, bounce house and basketball, coloring, and karaoke. There were special goodies provided by the Women of BC and local businesses like Starbucks. (Thanks Martin and team!) and Chick-fil-A (You’re awesome Angie and team!).
There were smiles all around, music rocking, yummy food, games a plenty, and tons of fun! All was done in appreciation of the Marquardt Student Service Society by organizations that value dedicated service to others.
With 31 teenagers and 7 leaders, our Youth Group OnMission team served the South Elgin community.
“We are all hoping that we can accomplish what God has sent us hear (sic) to do, have a fun time, and spread the word about Christ.” -Josh V.
“Even through all the hard work and sweat we put into these mission trips, It is 100% worth it.” -Trinity F.
“I thought it was cool how people even skipped lunch and worked later than they had to just to get more work done. This would be a type of trip that I would do again.” –Michelle H.
“During this trip I learned a lot about God and about his love. I grew in my relationship with [Him] so much. Everyone that came on the trip worked really hard and we got most of the stuff done.” -Jeremy H.
- We rebuilt and landscaped a whole new playground area and weeded all the gardens.
- We painted the church entry way and repainted the church sign.
- We led neighborhood kids through a Day Camp in a local park with five new families. (Surprisingly, for our first day, no kids showed up. We took this opportunity to stop and pray asking God what He wanted us to do next. It was clear from the teens responses that God was leading us to still bring Day Camp to this community. So we split up to run more fliers, prayed, and set up at a local park where kids saw us and joined in.)
Our students learned what it means to trust God in real time, and how easy it is to do great things this close to home. For more trip stories and student blog quotes, check out storiesof.us/soelgin.
Student’s Interview Junior High onMission Trip 2014
Nate interviews Trinity, Grant, and Kayla about their experiences in Chatanooga
Student’s Interview High School onMission Trip 2014
Matt interviews Jeremy and Arianna about their experiences serving in Chicago.
Rebecca lives in Carol Stream, IL.
Isabella lives in Bloomingdale, IL.
Kayla lives in Roselle, IL.