Thirty people – a mix of medical professionals and members of Friendship Baptist Church – teamed up with Operation Renewed Hope to run a medical clinic for the people of Mukachevo, Ukraine. The clinic was completely free, and the team reached over 600 Ukrainian people in three days. Everyone who came through the door received attention for their physical needs while being presented with the truth about their spiritual need.
Jon Lowery, senior at FCS, was a dental assistant at the clinic. He said, “God taught me that I can serve Him wherever He puts me. Serving Him is not just for ministers and missionaries.”
Alumni Tyler Nelson and Austin DeAngelo also participated in this mission trip. Nelson said, “This trip reminded me not to take things for granted. We are blessed with our medical care in the U.S., and we should use medicine to help people. Christ didn’t just walk past blind or sick people, so we should use our skills in the medical field to help people.”
DeAngelo’s thoughts focused on how Christians are to love the world: “Humans crave a human connection, and as Christians, we are commanded to love the people that come into our world. With this week, the people that came into our world just happened to be people in Ukraine that needed medical care. So if you look at it from that perspective, it takes the fear away of being able to connect with them.”
Ella Murry, freshman at FCS, served at a church in Swanton, Ohio this summer. She had many opportunities to help, including setting up Sunday school, participating in the children’s puppet show, passing out door hangers for the church, singing in the choir, and playing the piano for their evening service. Murry said, “Even if you’re really young, you can still serve God in many ways. Be available and willing to help others at any time, be kind to everyone, and reflect Jesus in everything you do.”
Grace Kennon went with another group from Friendship Baptist Church to Troy, Missouri. She participated in a Creation Camp and Sunday services at Crosspointe Baptist, a small church revitalization. The team helped with projects around the church as well, including painting and tearing down a wall. Grace said she realized, “How easy it is to make another person happy” and the importance of “just being able to be there for another Brother in Christ.”
Many students had the opportunity to serve right here in Raleigh. Hannah Goodban, FCS junior, worked at Hope Reins for two weeks. Hope Reins is an equine horse therapy organization for rescued horses. The organization doesn’t just focus on horses though. They use their platform as a way to reach kids who have had troubled lives through abuse and neglect. During her two weeks, Hannah was a games counselor for summer camp. Many kids came from the Raleigh/ Durham Rescue Missions, the Dream Center, and the Salvation Army, and while she was there, three kids came to know and follow Christ. “I went home every day having learned how much God loves and cares, forgives, and is my Friend,” said Goodban.
Micah Turner, freshman, worked vacation Bible school at his church for two weeks. He spent his time with first and second graders and in the gym. Turner said, “They are great kids and are very smart with understanding the gospel.”
Jackson Chamoff, fourth grader at FCS, had a unique opportunity to help his church ask for donations for Backpack Buddies. They set up a table at Wal-mart on a Saturday morning and received monetary and food donations for elementary students who don’t have food on the weekends. The Chamoffs said they saw the generosity of people!
This is just a snapshot of many students that participated in summer service. We are thankful that our students are spending their summer serving the Lord, meeting Christians around the world, and gaining valuable ministry experience.