Dear KUC Friends!
In the wee hours of June 15, Kenilworth Union Church’s 61-person Impact team will embark on this year’s week-long summer mission trip. I ask that you pray for us. Pray for our safety, pray for God to move our hearts and open our eyes so that we understand that true service does not come from frantic determination, sweat and scramble, but from divine whisper and irresistible promptings the Lord plants in our lives and invites us to follow.
I thank God for the youth, adults and families who followed the prompting to join IMPACT, our program for high school youth designed to explore the Christian discipline of service. Since the program orientation in January, the team has sought to understand stigma as it relates to us, our families, our communities and the larger world. We did this in meetings and service projects both at KUC and in the broader local community, because on our mission trip we will be working in highly stigmatized populations in the Bahamas.
Our building project is at the All Saint’s Camp in Nassau. All-Saints camp is next to a potter’s cemetery only a few miles from luxurious beachfront resorts. It is home to residents who have no place to go, many because they are HIV-positive. The stigma surrounding that diagnosis remains devastating for those in the Caribbean who are infected. Treatment is available, but too often people put off testing because they fear rejection, isolation and certain poverty with a positive test result.
The other community we will serve is a Haitian immigrant community. Haitians are stigmatized in the Bahamas and this keeps them from breaking a cycle of poverty and hopelessness. Our group will donate backpacks with school supplies to children in the Haitian community and will run a Vacation Bible School at the United Alliance Church there.
So, as you pray for our group, please also pray for the communities we serve, that God comforts those who are suffering and provides for those in need.
My hope is to tweet this year’s adventure – follow it on twitter @Impact Bahamas.
In Christ’s service,
Director of Youth Ministries