Middle School Missions Trip to DC
Middle School Missions Trip to DC
by Craig Maart
On June 18 to 24, nineteen middle school students and four leaders entered Washington, DC. We went with the perspective of being a disciple of Jesus no matter where we are. This was not a compartmentalized experience but served as a boost in the process of discipleship and of taking next steps.
We could report about the fun we had, the sites we saw, the walk to the showers, the traffic, and the silly jokes and phrases that became part of the week; but to hear that part, please stop a student who went and ask them about it. They would love to tell you about these things.
Each morning we spent quiet time with Jesus. We also trained in Evangelism is Relationships. This curriculum helped us approach reaching out with the gospel. We learned to intercede for, invest in, intersect with, and invite to receive Jesus as savior. This training was not just for the trip, but also to be used as an ongoing tool to love like Jesus.
We partnered with Redemption Hill Church in DC. One evening was set aside to hear from the pastors about the church’s origin and purpose. That was cool, but the best part was hearing from Capitol Hill staff who attend the church. They shared in clear and simple terms the journey of faithfully following Jesus, no matter what culture or context you are in.
We learned about the ministries of the Southeast White House and the DC Dream Center. This is a special ministry that connects the needs and resources of people in their area of the city. God is doing amazing things there because of faithfulness to his leading. We toured the International Justice Mission and learned about how they act on behalf of people where injustice devastates lives. This ministry is greatly blessed through their dependence on prayer. The progress they have made to eradicate human trafficking is only of the Lord. In their offices, they have quiet hours from 8:30 to 9 AM and a mandatory praise, report, and prayer time at 11 AM each day. We were blessed to experience their 11 AM meeting—POWERFUL!
We served at places like the Capitol Area Food Bank and a historic—yet neglected—cemetery. We helped to organize and beautify these places. We also packaged lunches and blessing bags to reach out to homeless people at a park near the White House and along the National Mall. It was a thrill to see everyone, even the more reserved students, engage in conversation and give food and blessing bags to the people there.
On our free morning, we went to Arlington National Cemetery to pay our respects and see the Changing of the Guard. We also toured the Washington National Cathedral. At the Cathedral we spent time talking through being the Church versus celebrating a building.
All throughout the week we heard people share God’s leading to see a need and take action to do something about it. This lesson was so good to stick with us as we debriefed each night. We cannot do everything, but we can do something; live with Jesus enough to hear his leading.
One of the main action steps we took while in DC was to hand-write a letter to a person we selected in our “relational sphere of influence.” This is a person in our lives we are intentionally trying to reach with the gospel. The letters were sent out as a way of creating intersections to talk about the week in DC and lead into talking through the gospel.
The trip was a good one. With a trip like this we will not know of the full effect until years from now, but this was a necessary and spiritually strategic experience for the students and leaders. We thank you for your support in prayer and finances. We thank you for your encouragement along the way and for following our adventure on Facebook. What a thrill it is to be with believers seeking to serve our savior and be released from anything that hinders the work of God in our lives.