Youth in Mission

Sierra Service Project

High School Mission Trip

 

Youth and sponsors from The Fountains traveled to California for an “immersion experience” service project in South Central Los Angeles. Working with a United Methodist mission agency, the Sierra Service project, they worked for a week with youth and adults from all over the West coast to build, paint, do clean-up work, and have the opportunity to engage with the folks living in South Central L.A.

 

Hollie, who, among other things, helped build a handicapped ramp for a disabled resident, declared the whole week  “a life changing experience!” Surprisingly, one of here favorite parts was that she did not have access to her phone or iPod. “It forced you to get to know one another. People bonded with the other volunteers and became like family by the end of the week.”

 

Another of our students said, “Going to SSP was a wonderful experience. The sense of community was astounding (it was as if we were one big happy family on the first day!). The staff was supportive and fun, and the work was fulfilling.”

 

One of everyone’s favorite experiences during the mission trip was visiting the people on Skid Row. “Skid Row was absolutely eye-opening,” said one youth, “We had apprehensions…all our fears were alleviated. We handed out water, snacks, and extra clothes. To go from living in isolated Fountain Hills to Skid Row was a shock, but despite their circumstances, there was a sense of community (on Skid Row). Their faith was inspiring.”

 

Another of our students said, “Despite all the narcotics, dilapidated buildings, and people, there also gleamed a beautiful side to Skid Row. It was incredibly moving to meet so many kind, caring, supportive individuals who had little-to-nothing be so much more appreciative of life, God, and those who surrounded them than I ever have.”

 

“…it was a very humbling experience seeing people who had very little but who were still trying to give back to their community. They helped me realize that even doing the smallest deed can create a difference — maybe not to the world, but to their world.”

 

Group leader Pastor Kathleen Stolz said, “When youth put their faith into action serving the economically challenged, it is a life changing experience. Distributing water on Skid Row and listening to the stories of men and women who live there provided new awareness of reality that cannot be duplicated. Everyone, youth and adults alike, deepened their faith through this mission opportunity in South Los Angeles.”