This June, The Woods UMC Youth went on a mission trip to help our neighboring community of New Orleans. The majority of our group helped with a church day camp that helped children learn to read, be respectful, and, most importantly learn about Christ.
The pastor of the church we volunteered at had an amazing story that he shared with us and the children who attend the day camp. He was born 96% blind and we would never have known if he hadn’t told us. Despite his impairment, he was able to lead the church we served at and speak to many people around the world. He was animated that each child at the camp be able to read and told us if they were not able to read at a 3rd grade level by the time they reached 3rd grade, they had a high probability of ending up in jail.
We were able to partner one-on-one with the students at the day camp and be with them for a whole week. Many of our students were able to form bonds with their child throughout the week and get to speak life and encouragement to them.
A small group of our youth went to help other places in the community. One day, they went to a community garden and helped pull weeds and water the plants. Another day, they helped work at a school that was the first school in the US to integrate black students into a previously segregated school system.
While we got to serve the community of New Orleans, we also got to experience some of the unique foods and attractions there such as eating at Cafe Du Monde and enjoying their beignets and getting to try a snowball stuffed with cheesecake at SNO-LA. We walked around the French Quarter, got to sit on steps off the Mississippi River, and see the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral.