During FPD’s Fall Break, twenty-five high school students did not spend their time catching up on sleep, vacationing with family, or relaxing with friends. Instead, they spent their long weekend serving in the city of Macon for FPD’s annual In-Town Service Trip. It was a growing and stretching experience for most, as they were thrown into a culture of people that they had not necessarily interacted with before and worked tirelessly to serve.
What is the In-Town Service Trip?
The In-Town Service Trip is a three-day opportunity for students to serve homeless and impoverished people throughout the city of Macon. There is great purpose in serving in the community. It’s a matter of serving to be the hands and feet of Christ. On the trip, students learned what it is really like to live in the shoes of those less fortunate. They got to know these people and show love as Christ loved us.
Starting at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning, students and leaders met at FPD to pray about the weekend before heading to Camp Grace for their Fall Festival to kick off the trip. Sunday morning began even earlier. At the wee hour of 6:15 a.m., students started serving breakfast and attended Sunday School at Centenary United Methodist Church followed by a church service and lunch at Strong Tower Fellowship.
After lunch, it was time to pull out the paint brushes, hammers, and other tools as students spent the remainder of the day painting, building, and repairing homes with Rebuilding Macon.
Monday proved there was no rest for the weary. Beginning at 6:00 a.m., the students spent time in fellowship with one another over breakfast before heading to Daybreak Ministries. There they served breakfast, listened to stories, and shared the love of Christ.
The weekend wrapped up with service at Macon Outreach before the tired yet joyful students rested over a group lunch and recap meeting.
“We thought we were going to be the ones encouraging them, but they were the ones encouraging us,” recounted FPD Senior Dontrez Johnson.
“We didn’t just bond with the kids at Camp Grace or the homeless we served, but we also bonded with each other,” added Senior Beck Muse.
At first many students had been timid, knowing they had to embrace an unfamiliar culture and speak with those to whom they had never spoken. It took some time, but once students began to hear the life stories, perspectives changed. They realized that the need for love and laughter are universal and that hope and joy are contagious, especially when that joy comes from Christ.