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Coordinator: Discipleship Ministries
Staff Liaison: Doug Johnson, Director of Youth and Family Ministries
God Squad (grades 9-12) goes on one amazing mission trip each summer.
These mission trips have four points of focus:
With these points in mind, we have traveled as far as Guatemala and as nearby as Seattle.
Summer 2020 trip opportunities were not available.
Six youth and six adults went to Baja, Mexico and partnered with Lantern Hill for a cross cultural exchange and service trip. A special emphasis was on relationship building.
Trip dates were July 28-August 2, 2019.
Our team of six youth and six adults shared smiles, played games, and spent meaningful time with the youth at Lantern Hill.
The mission of Lantern Hill is to break the cycle of poverty. Their strategy is to create sustainable, measurable, long-term love, care and education programs that give each person the opportunity to change their present and their future.
Ongoing donations through Sunday Youth Education classes will continue to support Lantern Hill.
Our 2018 summer trip was to learn from and to serve with the Blackfeet Nation (with YouthWorks) in Montana. The Mission Team served by helping YouthWorks facilitate a Kids Club program, and helping to prepare for a Blackfeet Nation ceremony. Throughout the week, the Team built relationships with community members and learned about the Blackfeet Nation, its culture, heritage and story. Trip dates were July 21-28, 2018.
July 16-21, 2017: We were in Chicago and worked with Center for Student Missions (CSM), the organization that we partnered with on our San Francisco and Toronto trips. (To learn more about CSM, watch an introductory video at https://vimeo.com/107150526.
What did participants do on this trip?
Our mission team had been preparing their hearts for service in the city since January. The team worked together to create a Vacation Bible School (VBS) program and led VBS for a group of children living at the Cornerstone Community Outreach Center, a shelter that provides services for mothers and their children, and entire families. They also had opportunities to serve and learn more about the city in a variety of ways.
July 15-19, 2015: We attended the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) National Youth Gathering in Detroit, Michigan with 30,000 of our peers for a week spent on learning, serving, and worship!
We served in San Francisco with Center for Student Missions (CSM) June 21-29, 2014.
This was an urban focused mission trip, and we began to understand the issues of homelessness and poverty that are so prevalent in urban areas throughout the country, including our own.
Read more… about CSM’s mission work in San Francisco.
We served in northern Idaho July 21-26, 2013. Our service was coordinated through Camp LutherHaven.
Read about our trip on our blog.
Toronto, Canada! From July 24 through July 31, fourteen youth and four adults were in one of the most multicultural cities in North America for an urban mission and service trip with Center for Student Missions (CSM).
Read their trip blog: http://www.godsquadtoronto.blogspot.com/
Twenty-two youth and five adults served the Lummi Tribe of Native Americans near Bellingham on a trip organized through Camp Lutherwood. We spent the week doing yard work, painting, and cleaning up a Lummi Long House; and were treated to dinner and Lummi cultural dancing.
In 2009, we attended the ELCA National Youth Gathering in New Orleans. The theme for the gathering was Jesus, Justice, Jazz. The week focused on service to the city of New Orleans and included awesome worship experiences and powerful speakers. God led us to serve and to deepen our faith. We plan to return to New Orleans for the ELCA National Youth Gathering in 2012!
In the summer of 2008, we embarked on a Road Rules adventure, Southern Style.
This trip led us to Delbarton, West Virginia for a week of service with YouthWorks. We built relationships with people of all ages in this small coal-mining town through painting, construction, and running kids’ activities. From Delbarton, we ventured to Asheville, North Carolina for a night of fun and rest in a real bed. We then headed to Charleston, South Carolina, where we learned about southern life in the times of slavery, and were blessed to experience gracious southern hospitality.
In 2007, we broadened our horizons by heading to Guatemala with Partners in Service.
While in Guatemala, our youth built stoves for families and planted trees to help fight the deforestation in the region. Building stoves may seem like an unusual form of service, but Guatemalans in rural areas usually cook indoors over an open fire. This can cause a lifetime of lung problems, especially for children. The stoves we built helped to pipe the fire out of the house while maintaining traditional cooking techniques.
2006 was the original Road Rules adventure. We embarked on a wild trip to some of the largest cities in the Midwest. Here is a sampling of what we did:
We served, slept and worshipped at Trinity Lutheran Church, Lakewood, Ohio.
Experienced the West Side Market, a Cleveland Landmark, took in the joys of public transportation, visited the Rock and Roll Hall of fame.
In Chicago we began with a socio-economic walking tour of the South Side with Dr. Richard Perry from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
We also visited the Cabrini Green Neighborhood Association, experienced true sports fans at a White Sox v. Yankees game, ate Chicago style pizza, and volunteered at a senior center in the suburbs.
While staying at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, we took an environmental tour of the neighborhood, which has a number of Superfund sites played with the kids at the church for their summer program and went door-to-door to get neighbors involved in the church’s block party. We also experienced an amazing prayer service and Redeemer’s monthly hip-hop worship, JUMP.