The Sacrifice of Service
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The Sacrifice of Service

by Andrew Rennie, Lynden SERVE Host Team Member My second year on the Host Team of Lynden SERVE felt different from the first. The first year left me wishing I could have done more or been more involved. I was inspired by the work of the students, by witnessing their comradery and unity, and by watching our church come together and work purposefully to the glory of God. Still, it seemed to me that my part in this sacrifice of service was missing something. Reflecting on the old sacrificial system, I realize pleasing sacrifices are rarely spontaneous. The spotless lamb doesn't walk… Read More

Letting Go and Loving
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Letting Go and Loving

Written by Megan Schouten My church had gone on many SERVE trips over the years, one of which I was a student participant myself. I’d heard and been a part of so many great stories, but still, SERVE 2018 made me worry. This time, I would not just be a participant, but a leader. I was worried that being a stranger to the students in my SERVE small group would prevent me from being able to relate to them. As a youth group leader in church, I had lead small groups before, but I already knew those students. I was also worried about the students we would be taking with our own youth… Read More

Middle School: A Key Age
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Middle School: A Key Age

Interview with Scott Post “I would say youth who have participated in SERVE go on to be more regularly involved in local service opportunities, both while they are in high school and beyond.” In a cultural climate which tells us our youth are leaving the church and faith in God is declining, Scott believes middle school is a key age to engage students in faith formation. During the year, Scott encourages his middle schoolers to go past just reading their Bibles and praying every day. “We’ve spent a lot of time in the context of our community intentionally building spiritual… Read More

Authentic Community
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Authentic Community

By Jacob VanDam Before attending Gallatin Valley SERVE, I didn’t have a framework for what would take place at SERVE or how Christ’s would connect me with two influential communities. Once I arrived, strangers from across the country quickly became family. One of the main topics was community, which I initially thought was just simply “making friends”. But it wasn’t just that; it was having a spiritual bond with the whole community and everyone there.   A few weeks after SERVE, my family received the news that my dad has stage four colon cancer. This was a blow… Read More

The Name Of Love
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The Name Of Love

By Gil Clelland   Love has a name. We were out on an educational walk in our city's core learning about poverty. Six SERVE students and I were engaged in a good conversation, trying to understand how people can end up on the streets and what we can do to respond. And then we saw him. He sat there alone. People walked by. Perhaps they did not notice him. Perhaps they did not want to notice him. Grey, weathered clothing blended into the grey, weathered sidewalk. An empty hat opened expectantly to offerings from passers-by. A cardboard sign - "Any help will do." I knelt… Read More

SERVE Shoes
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SERVE Shoes

by Kyle De Boer, Gallatin Valley SERVE Host Team Coordinator “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same” (Luke 3:11). For a high school student from the Gallatin Valley, a Tuesday at Grandma’s house turned into a life altering encounter with a servant of Christ. Johnathon had just finished his sophomore year of high school. Since his brother and mom were working, he had to keep an eye on his little sister who broke her arm a few days earlier, so they ventured down the road to Grandma’s house. As they arrived… Read More

SERVE | The Highlight Of Every Summer
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SERVE | The Highlight Of Every Summer

by: Jenifer Buikema For me, SERVE was the highlight of every summer. In my life I have been on four Youth Unlimited SERVE trips; Sioux Falls, Port Perry, Brighton, and Gallatin Valley. I have also helped host two trips at my home church in Holland, Michigan. I love to travel, so hopping in the 15-passenger van with my youth group and driving to Canada or across the country was always a great start to the week! Then, when you arrive, the host team is always super excited to welcome you and invite you into their community. Being welcomed that warmly really sets you up to have a great week. The… Read More