Geneva College Spring Break Mission Trips

First day in Aliquippa.

March 10, 2009
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Even as I write, Team Aliquippa is loading up and heading for Uncommon Grounds Cafe! I am SO thrilled that for the second year the Geneva mission to Aliquippa is becoming a reality!

Today holds orientation, stories of Aliquippa’s past and present, and of holy imagining of the kingdom of heaven on Franklin Ave.; a most meaning prayer walk, to stand in the places where we long to see the Spirit move, and seek Him there. The cafe is open till 4. At 5:30, the team goes to Vespers at the Community of Celebration; last year the communal meal following was a delicious Lenten Lamb stew, enjoyed in silence—except for outbursts of laughter as we were read to from a book the community was sharing during Lent.

As you pray the Lord’s Prayer, and you get to “Thy kingdom come….on earth as it is in heaven,” pray that for Aliquippa! Let the Spirit deepen your longing for it! As John Stanley often invites people, start to imagine what it would look like!

Today in the mail, from the Episcopal Church Army, comes the amazing story of one 11-year-old who, after 3 tempestuous years of visiting the cafe and getting evicted for misbehavior, has learned his value and place there. The letter has a photo of him; you should see his face!!! The future of Aliquippa! He comes for banter over breakfast, and with THIRTY! of his friends for Family Movie Night!

The cafe longs to begin for him and others a young artists program. Three artist mentors are ready to go. But it needs $1200 to install the heat/AC in the new art room! Pray for this amount to flow out of the heaven’s coffers through the generous hearts of people.

This is just one story which David, Hannah, Rebekah, and Michael will come to be part of!


An intro to the Quest program

March 6, 2009
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The mission of the Quest Program at Geneva College is two-fold. We send students out to serve those in need as well as to deepen their understanding of the world and how we, as Christians, connect what we believe with how we live in the world.

Throughout the Scriptures, Christ calls us to love our neighbors and care for those in need. There are many ways that Geneva College students participating in the Quest Program are enabled to serve. In the past, we have had students rebuild homes, serve in soup kitchens and homeless shelters, work on a community farm, assist teachers in a low-income school, facilitate youth programs, and visit those who were ill or institutionalized.

Secondly, it is our hope that students will return to campus with a new understanding of how we are called to live lives of service. While a week of labor is good, our hope is that these trips will open our eyes to the brokenness of our world and transform our lives in the process. This is a time when students should be asking hard questions and seeking answers that make sense and bring meaning to their experience.

True service must come from a sense of compassion and love for others, and love abounds more and more from knowledge and depth of insight. Therefore, the more we understand about the places and people we visit, the better servants we become, not just for the week of spring break, but for our entire lives.

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