2014 Jr. High Mission Trip – Pittsburgh, PA
From July 31 through August 3, 2014, our junior high youth worked in the Pittsburgh area with the Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community. Here is a summary of the trip from one of the youth participants, Lisa Orr:
This year, the junior high group did mission work with Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community which is located on the South Side. We arrived there Thursday evening and started working that night. The church serves a free meal to the community every Tuesday and Thursday, and we helped serve that meal and then ate with the people there. Some of them were homeless, but many were the elderly and the poor of the community. That night we served 140 meals.
On Friday, we had a full day of work. In the morning we went to Brookline Boulevard United Presbyterian Church, which has a strong mission and outreach program. They offer free and reduced tuition preschool for the community of Brookline. We helped to clean and disinfect many of the toys for their preschool. After eating lunch at the church, we went to another location to work with Habitat for Humanity on a home which will eventually house a single mother and her children. The boys put up a railing on the front porch and later helped the girls paint and plaster the interior.
On Saturday, the group went to Garfield Community Farm which is an urban garden that gives fresh produce to food banks and offers healthy options to the community. We helped to weed the gardens as well as mow grass, harvest tomatoes, and clean up some of the fallen plums. The younger kids spent the whole day there while those who were sixteen and older got to leave early to help with Hot Metal’s homeless ministry. We packed bag lunches and then drove to several homeless camps to deliver the meals. This was a particularly eye-opening experience because we got to meet and talk to some homeless people and see how they live.
The junior high group can be proud of the work we did on the South Side. Through Hot Metal Bridge, we were able to help the community through our mission work. We also learned a lot about what it means to be a community and how the church should be an active participant. Hopefully we will carry these lessons back to our own community and church.