Canaan Baptist Church youth ministry travels south on relief mission By Don Edward

August 13, 2014

Special to the Milwaukee Times

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Addia Hackney does not attend Canaan but was asked by Ms. Thomas to accompany the group. “Ms. Thomas, I guess, saw potential in me and asked me if I was interested in coming along. I have been to the South before, but have never done anything like this. I painted a couple of rooms, but I would not want to do it at home. What stood out for me is realizing you can’t judge people by the things they have, because everyone goes through something. Even though it may not seem like it, they are. Communicating with everyone and doing the work felt spiritual, and I have to say it was all fun!”
While communicating with everyone, 15-year-old Colton Webb noticed a different accent but the culture was not that different to him. “While we are the same, we do listen to different music. They like country western, something I couldn’t listen to. I like rap music. But I enjoyed the work and it filled me with pride. I would tell my friends about the experience to try and get them involved. Because I had fun, I would do it again.”
One of the older members of the group, 19-year -old Colin Crape feels good about himself by still being involved with the church even as a young man. “I was born into this church and have been involved since I was a young kid. It’s a good thing because I have not lost my connection with God. On the trip one thing that was totally different was the chapel service. I like the fact we didn’t have to dress up to attend church. If I wanted to wear sandals at Canaan, I would probably get smacked in the back of my head! The trip was a learning experience that turned out to be social, spiritual and religious for me. I would definitely do it again!”
All sixteen of the youth aged 13 – 19 shared that same sentiment—they would all return to continue their ministry. While the experiences and interpretations varied slightly, they all seemed to gain as much as they hoped to give. Even the youngest interviewed, Tajahn Richards, 13, was excited to be recruited before he was old enough to actually be involved. Tajahn revealed, “I was happy we were able to finish what we set out to do. I helped organize the wood for the deck we were building and it was enjoyable!”
While some missionary trips seem to be obligatory, it is always refreshing for all to experience the essence of the purpose of mission work. Directors, chaperones and youth alike attested to God’s work at hand. Even down to the lost item at the rest stop. Although chaperone Gwen Webb was unable to locate her purse at the rest stop, the bus driver told her, “There will be a Christian person that finds it and they will return to you.” From his lips to God’s ears was the consensus, for shortly after that, Gwen received a call letting her know her purse had been found. “I said, Lord thank you! Although I did ask if there was any money left in it. They said “I don’t know how much you had, but there are cards and money still here! What would you like me to do?” I told them to use the money in the purse and send it to me. I received my purse shortly after returning home from the trip!”
To summarize Canaan Baptist Church’s missionary trip: “Good work brings its rewards!”