Author: Shelby Atchley
In June of 2009, I spent a week of my summer dedicating my time to teaching young children about Christ with my newly developed youth group. We traveled to Mobile, Alabama to a small church called Shalom Baptist Church. Three years ago my church assisted in building and providing for this church, bringing about a church to an area of Indian Reservations. During this miraculous, worthwhile trip I helped young children, who do not have the providing and loving parents that I have been so blessed with in my life, have the opportunity to come play with other children while also attending church, something many of them had never experienced. I taught Sunday school and was a teacher for Vacation Bible School. We were given a church to stay out called Georgetown Baptist Church; it is a small church with a big heart that welcomed us with open arms.
My youth group also participated in singing for a women and children’s abuse center, Haven of Hope, cooked and served at the Salvation Army, and gave young children clothes, shoes, and toys. Not only did we help these children and families but we also helped each other, when you were down there was always someone there to lift you up and make you smile. Every morning we went and picked up children whose parents were unable to bring them; they would come running out the door and jump in your arms, so excited about the day ahead. Seeing the children smile and be so excited to see you at their door every morning ready to take them to play and learn made the sweating and hard work all worthwhile. We work for many weeks to prepare lessons, crafts, and skits for these children. After being up since four o’clock in the morning serving breakfast, picking up children, teaching Vacation Bible School, and cleaning up we came back to our “home” for the week to have a wonderfully prepared meal and a worship service. The chaperones were like our mothers and fathers for the week, they cared for us if we were sick or hurting.