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Loving Our Neighbor in the Name of Jesus

It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches. Luke 13:19
With their mission trip to Philadelphia cancelled due to COVID-19, the Bethany Youth Group looked for an opportunity to serve closer to home. Beloved BYG teacher, Joan Kundra, was finding it difficult to keep up with the maintenance of her yard after the passing of her husband. From weeding to trimming branches, the kids were not afraid to roll up their sleeves in the name of God’s love and service.

“A God sighting that was truly remarkable was when we first arrived and it was pouring rain,” said Cole Johnson, BYG member. “But as everyone was arriving the rain left without a trace so we were able to bless Joan.”
The project was important because it gave our youth a sense of purpose in their faith to grow together not only in their fellowship but also to serve those who are going through difficult times but more importantly to love one another as God has loved us. 

“Overall, this mission was super fun because we accomplished so much work and seeing Joan’s reaction made it all worthwhile,” said Tyler Nicholson, BYG student leader. “It was so nice to see that we could help her out by just cleaning up her yard and make it look nice.” 

“With such an unglamourous task at hand, I anticipated a few members arriving to help with the work, but never imagined that 21 youth and adult leaders would converge on our front porch that afternoon,” said Joan Kundra. “The sheer number of youth and adults was overwhelming (a word I use a lot surrounding this event).”

For the BYG, this mission was about more than just a physical transformation, it was about learning how helping others can also help yourself. This was the first time, after months of separation, that the BYG was able to physically reconnect, which added another layer of fun to the event. 
“Not only was it very fun spending time with friends I haven’t got to hangout with in months but seeing Joan’s face after everyone put in so much hard work, is something I will always remember,” said Grace Trotta, BYG member. “I am proud to talk about how we all came together to make something beautiful for someone we all love.”

“This is the youth of our church, the future of our church,” said Joan. “They truly showed love in action, and loved like Jesus throughout the day.”

The virus was not going to stop the BYG from growing in their faith and loving one another in the name of Jesus by serving together on this mission. After months apart, they craved that connection and understood that God called us to live by faith and not just by sight. Their faith was called into action through this mission and will continue to prepare them for when we are able to meet again.
“Not only was it very fun spending time with friends I haven’t got to hangout with in months but seeing Joan’s face after everyone put in so much hard work, is something I will always remember,” said Grace Trotta, BYG member. “I am proud to talk about how we all came together to make something beautiful for someone we all love.”

“This is the youth of our church, the future of our church,” said Joan. “They truly showed love in action, and loved like Jesus throughout the day.”

The virus was not going to stop the BYG from growing in their faith and loving one another in the name of Jesus by serving together on this mission. After months apart, they craved that connection and understood that God called us to live by faith and not just by sight. Their faith was called into action through this mission and will continue to prepare them for when we are able to meet again.
Love is an action, but at the same time requires time and patience. We can say we love one another all day but if we don’t put it into action it can be just that merely words.

“I’m proud of our BYG because they were patient with each other throughout this pandemic,” said Pastor Jae, BYG leader. “They came together when there was a need to serve. I believe our youth really learned to grow in faith and in their love for the Lord and for one another. Which is the greatest commandment of all.”

Working together reminds us that we truly are better together than apart. This mission taught the importance of being patient and working hard to see a beautiful end result. If we all were more patient in life, and took the time to listen and learn what beautiful results could we see?

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Interested in joining the BYG? Visit our Youth Group page to learn how! 
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