Sixteen youth and their sponsors from First United Methodist Church in Great Bend will travel to Chicago July 5-11 to take part in an ongoing mission helping the homeless of that city. They will be sleeping on the floors of Chicago churches by night, and by day serving at food banks and kitchens, and working directly with homeless youth. They will meet people who have spent the previous night sleeping on the street, said Growth and Youth Minister Matt Aycock.
“We want to get our youth out of their comfort zones,” Aycock said. “This way, they can see firsthand where they are called to serve.” When they purposely open their eyes to the hurting happening elsewhere, they can come home with fresh eyes and see their home in a new light.
“There are hungry and homeless people here too,” he said. “The mission of First United Methodist Youth,” he said, “is to serve the least, the lost and the last.”
In order to attend, the youth need to raise $300 each to cover travel expenses. On Friday, June 12, starting at 6 p.m., they are hosting a Chicago Deep-dish Pizza fundraiser dinner. The intimate dinner will include salad, pizza and homemade desserts. Following the meal, a youth labor auction will be held. Contact the church at 620-792-2148 for tickets, $20 per person or $30 per couple.
Andrea Maxwell and Connie Claussen, the church’s Senior High Youth Sponsors, will accompany the group. Both are teachers at Great Bend High School, and Claussen has been involved with several mission projects around the country and has used her contacts to arrange for the youth to work with ongoing mission projects.