Religion

Youth lead the way with mission

About 125 children will participate in today’s One Block, One Vision youth mission

By LARRY GIERER

lgierer@ledger-enquirer.com

One Block, One Vision, could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Today, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., youth groups from First Baptist Church, Holy Family Church and St. Luke United Methodist Church will be working together in the community to help people in need.

Yard work will be done in some places. In other locations, the youth will be painting, roofing and installing carpet. In one spot, a porch will be replaced. In another, framing will be done on a Habitat for Humanity house.

Perhaps, this youth mission will lead to adults at the three downtown churches partnering for projects.

“Kids tend to lead the way,” Holy Family Youth Minister Holly Calhoun said. “I think it is a great idea to have this collaboration, because, after all, we are serving the same mission. Not focusing on our differences, but what we have in common, is something we need to do.”

One Block, One Vision is about the children.

Calhoun said mission work is important in this day and time because so many children are used to getting what they want. “Many do not understand how many people are struggling and just trying to survive,” she said.

She said the children will get a sense of accomplishment from this work.

“We want to help kids see they can do something big, that they can help people in need,” First Baptist student minister Brandon Strozier said.

It was Strozier’s idea that the three churches, so close in proximity, should partner for a worthwhile project.

“Missions are a large part of what we do,” he said. “Our common goal is to help others for Christ.”

Many of the children involved, he said, have experience with such missions.

Strozier agreed with Calhoun that projects such as this can break down walls but said “right now, we’re really focusing on this mission.”

He said the churches are uniting as a neighborhood to share a vision.

A national ministry called Kingdom Builders, which brings youth to work on similar projects around the nation, came to Columbus this past summer. That inspired Strozier.

“These three churches have the same vision of helping others,” Strozier said. “We began talking about this and decided we could make it happen.”

As many as 125 children in grades 6-12 will participate, Strozier said.

He said youth from other churches, including The Ridge, are expected to join in the effort.

“If one church can make a difference then think what three can do,” St. Luke Director of Youth Ministries Mitch Watts said. “It is a great idea. I see this as a real benefit to the community. We’re letting young people get some hands on work, do something physically to help people in the community.”

The children are being pointed “in the right direction,” Watts said.

Watts said all three churches offer plenty of mission opportunities for adults and children and it is best to begin serving when young. One Block, One Vision is not all about work.

Friday night, a dinner and block party on Third Avenue was planned for participants. Sleeping arrangements for boys were made in the First Baptist gym. Sleeping arrangements for girls were made in the St. Luke gym.

A party planned is planned for tonight at the Columbus State University Recreation Center. There will be a lot of pizza eating, swimming and wall climbing done.

Worship sessions are a part of the mission which will end Sunday morning.

The participants paid a fee to cover costs.

“A lot of these kids know each other from school,” Watts said. “They compete in sports. Now, they are working together to help others.”

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