Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New York Mission Trip Part 1

My niece, Kelli Lutz, recently returned from a mission trip to New York City.
I asked her to share about her trip.

Hi Kelli,

Thanks for joining me today on my back porch.

I am so glad to do this for you! Thanks for asking me!

What was the goal of your trip?

The main purpose of our trip was to help Everyday Church that is located in Inwood, a small community in New York. This church is a church plant, in which our home church helps support. The church has slowly been gaining the trust of the people in the community through their work/programs for the youth. The church works closely with a school in the community, which is where they are able to hold their church services and help students through tutoring and other programs. Our team of 12, went to New York to run a three day tennis camp for Everyday Church. It was a unique opportunity to teach the kids how to play tennis because life in their community is not conducive to allowing them to be involved in sports activities. Our goal was to not only teach the kids how to play tennis, but to just love and encourage them. We were also there to help build trust between the church and the community.

Do you feel like you accomplished your goals?

I definitely feel like we accomplished our goal of teaching the kids how to play tennis, as well as loving and encouraging them. It was so neat to watch how quickly the kids picked up tennis in just three short days. It was also fun to watch the kids as they played tennis because even if they were not able to hit the ball over the net, they still had the world's biggest smile on their face because they were having fun and trying something new.

- The highlight of the trip, for me, was to see the smiles on the kids faces from the time the walked onto the court until they walked off to go home. They were so excited to have the opportunity to come and try something new, even if every ball they hit went into the net. It was amazing to watch their faces when they were able to hit the ball over the net because they were so excited and so proud of themselves. It was a very humbling experience for me and showed me that I take things for granted everyday that these kids would give anything to do and have.

The kids were so great! For the most part they all warmed up to us pretty quickly, but we still had a few shy ones. On the first day, when the Everyday staff introduced us and told the kids that we were from Kentucky, one of the kids asked what country Kentucky was in...haha it was so funny to see their faces when we told them we were from the same country. The kids were very well behaved and did a great job listening and participating. During the three days, I never heard one complaint from any of the kids. They were all just out there having the time of their life.

Please come back and join us for the rest of our conversation.


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