During the past summer, 57 youth and staff representing 6 different Sword of the Spirit communities in North America and a Wyoming, Michigan, Christian high school, The Potter’s House, participated in the Kairos Mission Trips program as short-term volunteers and ambassadors of God’s love in action. The summer’s trips started in Agua Prieta, Mexico, along the border with the U.S. state of Arizona. There, the Potter’s House High School team, consisting of 19 incoming final-year students, began the arduous process of building two homes for families in need.

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Then, our community-based teams took over. First, a boys’ team consisting of ten young men continued the process of building these homes and spending time with local orphans. The boys’ team then joined with a team of nine girls, completing another home and bringing much joy to the same group of orphans in our annual “Fun in the Sun” events at a local water park. All of our teams in Mexico learned firsthand what it is like to live among disadvantaged brothers and sisters. We also experienced the beauty and simplicity of relationships that mark the reality of deep poverty. Times of fellowship, birthday parties, observing a national holiday, celebrating Lord’s Day opening meals on Saturday evenings, and hiking through scenic vistas marked our times together.

The final mission trip of the summer was a seven-girl team serving selflessly in inner-city Detroit, Michigan. They worked alongside YouthWorks-Detroit. There, the girls assisted local ministries by providing assistance in distributing food to the homeless in Detroit, attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and doing service projects for several people who were ageing and recuperating. All in all, it was a time to reflect on the multiple blessings each of us has received and to reach outward to serve the needs of those around us.