MissionCle2014 Day 3

What a full day.  We started our day off with a reminder from Matthew 20:16 “‘The last will be first, and the first will be last.'” A great reminder about Kingdom priorities.

We spent our morning dividing and conquering.  Christ Community Church did some neighborhood cleanup in Parma Heights, while PHBC fed and played with needy kids at the Parma Area Family Collaborative.  We laughed and cried with one of our teens, and her family, at the funeral of her dad.  It was a powerful celebration of his life.

After a lunch at a park, we volunteered at MedWish International.  We sorted donated medical equipment to be shipped to needy countries to save lives.

In the evening we worked on sorting the mountain of items our church donated for local food pantries.  There is so much, we’ll be working on it for a few more hours later on this week.

I’m proud of our group – they’re working hard, with cheerful and willing attitudes. I’m not hearing complaining – instead, lots of laughter. They’re also connecting well with the team from Minnesota.

Now it’s time to recharge our batteries for another day of service.


MissionCle2014 Day 2

What a fun and exhausting day!  We spent most of our time working around the downtown campus at The City Mission. It’s time for bed, so this is short – just to say, we’re doing well, working hard, and learning a lot as we serve.

And let’s admit it – you’re here for the pictures anyway.  🙂


MissionCle2014 Day 1

Well, we’re all settled in, and heading to bed.  We had an exciting evening connecting with the youth group from Christ Community Church. It’s going to be a joy serving with them.

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Follow our adventures on Twitter: @phbc181 #MissionCle2014

One of the most exhilarating weeks of the year is about to begin – our Summer Mission Trip. This year, we’re staying local – ministering right here, in our own backyards. As pastor to our students, I have several very clear objectives for a week like this:

  1. Most obvious – meet as many needs in the name of Christ as we can throughout the week
  2. Help the students learn the joy of serving Christ by loving on others
  3. Help our students learn to recognize the needs around them, prayerful brainstorm practical ways to meet these needs, then take action
  4. Recognize the feasibility of being involved in these ministries/service opportunities throughout the year

Some have already asked, “Why Cleveland?”  Good question.

  • One out of every three Clevelanders lives in poverty, making Cleveland one of the poorest large cities in the country. Recent surveys show that the poverty rate in Cleveland has increased to 34%, ranking it third behind Detroit, MI and San Bernardino, CA.
  • This has resulted in many people being homeless.  They are struggling to survive without food, shelter and appropriate clothing.  Most of them feel they have nowhere to turn and no way out. Amazingly, this is not a description of a faraway country; it is right here in our own backyard.
  • At the same time, the income gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” has widened to record levels.  Which gives us a multitude of ministry opportunities to be a blessing to people – the way Christ was: in real and tangible ways.

Clearly, the need is great, and we’re working hard to do our part.  Here are some of our projects/ministry partners for the week:

  • Parma Area Family Collaborative: Their mission – “To build a stronger and more connected community by nurturing youth and strengthening families, while promoting child well-being, academic success and safety in the home, school, and community environment.” We will serve in several ways, including playing with and serving breakfast each morning to kids from needy families.
  • The City Mission: Their mission – “Providing help and hope to all people through the transforming power of God’s love.”  The City Mission has many ministry facets, including a men’s shelter, women’s shelter, children and youth programs, clothing, food, education, and the list goes on.  We will be helping on their main campus. www.thecitymission.org 
  • MedWish International: Their mission – MedWish International saves lives and the environment by repurposing discarded medical supplies and equipment to provide humanitarian aid in developing countries.” We will serve with them on several occasions, repurposing medical supplies to be shipped overseas. www.medwish.org
  • Cleveland Schools and Parks: We will spend part of a day cleaning up numerous schools and several parks.  While we clean, we will have strategic times of prayer for all of the people touched by that facility.
  • City of Parma Heights: We are working hard to be one of the first “go-to” groups when the city has a need.  We have set aside significant time to help the city and residents cleanup properties.
  • PHBC Hot Food Ministry: We will help with the setup, service, meal, and cleanup for our very own Hot Food Ministry.
  • Thrift Nation: Their Mission – ‘Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.’ (James 1:27) We seek to partner with organizations that are carrying out this command, and to explore opportunities to help those who Christ calls us to look after.” We will spend an afternoon sorting materials for ThriftNation.  www.thriftnation.org

Thanks for your prayers and support!  Check back here – we’ll try to update daily.  You can also follow us on Twitter: @phbc181 #MissionCle2014

VBS Workday and Pool Party

It’s always fun serving and playing together. This afternoon our students helped prep for Vacation Bible School – and then splashed and played at Intern Kelsey’s place.  Good times!