Youth put Mission Summit earnings toward mission trip

fc_JudsonPressTeamVolunteers_200wWhen youth at First Baptist Church, Olathe, Kan., were contacted about earning an hourly rate to help Judson Press set up and tear down its bookstore at American Baptist Churches USA’s Mission Summit 2015 in Kansas City in June, they jumped at the opportunity—not to fill their own pockets but to help finance a planned mission trip to Los Angeles.

Seven youth—Jack Donley, Ryan Donley, Nash Drake, Ryne Garvin, Eli Peach, Kole Perrin and Iseabail Simpson—unloaded, sorted and boxed books; lifted boxes; filled tables and display shelves; set up tables; and assisted Judson Press staff as otherwise needed in the space-turned-bookstore in front of what was transformed into the “Hall of Ministries” at Overland Park Convention Center.

I felt like I was helping a good cause,” says Perrin. “And it was a new experience that showed me things don’t always go by plan.”

The Judson Press helpers are part of a larger group—the church’s mission team—that participated in an eight-day July experience in which they served at a variety of Los Angeles locales with the national Center for Student Missions.

They served pastries to homeless individuals at parks, they did a prayer tour of the city, they played bingo at nursing homes and care facilities, served lunch two days at Long Beach Rescue Mission, served at the L.A. Mission on Skid Row, served dinner to 595 people at the Midnight Mission on Skid Row—in 45 minutes!—cleaned at a women’s shelter, sorted bread at the Los Angeles County Food Bank, and a variety of other projects,” says Jennifer Kane, who has been serving as FBC’s youth pastor, along with her husband, Brian, since 2006.

Lois Chiles, vice president of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) board of directors and local arrangements committee chair for the Mission Summit, arranged the volunteer partnership, as, in her words, “a great opportunity to work together in the name of Jesus Christ.”

Judson Press is the publishing ministry of ABHMS.