Highschoolers with a Purpose

Thirty-four highschoolers from the Great Lakes/Gulf Presbytery of the RPCNA recently spent the weekend helping out at five different churches within the Presbytery.  Work days were held at Bloomington RPC, and Christ Church RP in Indianapolis, Immanuel RPC in West Lafayette, Terre Haute RPC (all in Indiana), and Westminster RPC in Prairie View, Illinois (while taking appropriate precautions due to the threat of COVID-19)

We gathered at Second Reformed Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis on a Friday evening.  After some time spent playing games and a dinner catered by Culver’s, Pastor Steve Rhoda spoke about the value of service to others.  Then, we divided into our teams and departed for the various churches.

Work, Play, and Lots of Fellowship

My team consisted of six girls, one other guy, and two counsellors.  By the time we arrived in Lafayette that Friday night, we knew each other well and had already shared some good times singing karaoke together.  We stayed overnight with two host families.  

Early on Saturday morning we met at a former Masonic Temple that Immanuel RPC had purchased.  Alongside Immanuel members of all ages, we cleared shrubbery and trees from the property, cleaned the parking lot, moved furniture, and cleaned the inside of the building.  It was gratifying work because we had the purpose of furthering God’s kingdom.  And, it was encouraging that the work was accomplished so joyfully.  Immanuel volunteers prepared a lunch for those participating in the work day.  At the end of the day, our team shared a meal together and even had energy to play a game of ultimate frisbee prior to returning to our hosts’ homes.

On Sunday morning, we shared breakfast with our host family.  I really appreciated our host family’s hospitality; they devoted their weekend to caring for us.  I also enjoyed being part of the Immanuel church family for the weekend and worshipping with them that morning.  After church, a family invited our whole team round for lunch.  Our afternoon together at their home was a great way to finish the weekend.

Personal Highlights

This year’s Fall Ministry Project was very encouraging to me.  Pastor Rhoda’s opening message made me re-think how i viewed ‘work’.  Of course, I enjoyed being with other Christian teenagers, but it was wonderful getting to know the families from Immanuel too.  Many of them demonstrated kindness and love throughout the weekend by supporting our ministry project and the church work day.  

I am grateful for the opportunities provided and insights gained over the weekend while seeing our Presbytery doing good work.  While attempting to bless others and glorify God, I was blessed in return; being a part of the RPCNA is definitely one of God’s many blessings in my life!

Ian Hamstra is a member of the youth leadership team of the Great Lakes/Gulf Presbytery. He attends Lighthouse Christian Academy and is a member of Bloomington Reformed Presbyterian Church.

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