Mission work and volunteering has always been an important part of my faith practice. I feel most comfortable serving God through the serving others. I have fond memories and strong friendships from mission trips I took as a teen and young adult. Mission work connected me to the greater Moravian Church and was my foundation for becoming a confident lay leader.
In 2017, when East Hills Moravian in Bethlehem was looking for a way to build up our youth group my husband and I, along with another couple jumped at the opportunity to organize a mission trip for our teens. We took four senior high students to Frys Valley for ten days of rural mission work.
Our adventure was hard, dirty work. At the end of each day, we smelled and were exhausted. However, I was energized by watching our four youth learn, grow in their faith and build stronger relationships with each other and with God. I got to see the best of these teenagers. They were eager try new things. They took on heavy lifting of our tasks and never complained about the workload, being tired or the new smells of farm life. Each morning they thoughtfully planned devotions and each evening they shared what they had learned and how they saw God that day. Unplugged from devices, they had real conversations with farmers shared their passion and struggle with agriculture and how their faith in God kept them going. They will never look at a dozen eggs, a jar of honey or a gallon of milk in the same way.
On our drive home, the young people in car organically began asking questions about the organization of the church, they were interested in what a District was, what Province was, what happened at Synod and who represents them. Over the years of teaching Senior High Sunday School I never had been asked these questions. Interest sprung from this trip and one of youth served as the Eastern District Youth delegate at the 2018 Synod.
Our team saw God in the people we met, we saw God in the farmland and animals we encountered and we saw God in each other. I saw God in these incredible teens, the future of the Moravian Church, and I believe our church is in good hands.
Amy Frantz, East Hills Moravian Church