Church at Depot Student Ministry spends summer in service to others close to home
Church at the Depot’s Elevate Student Ministry has one core mission: Helping teens know, love, serve and share Jesus.
This summer, a group of 14 students from the ministry spent extra time focusing on the serve and share components of the mission.
Students embarked on a week-long local mission trip — where they served those in need in Huntington, Charleston and Putnam County.
“In the school year we focus on the knowing and the loving, which is the internal relationship with God,” said Nate Petrosky, the pastor of student ministries at the church. “This is the external. When Jesus was asked ‘What is the greatest commandment?’ His response was ‘Love God, love others.’”
Students slept at the church and spent each day last week serving the community any way they could.
They spent a day at Broadmore Senior Living, volunteered at Union Mission and performed odd jobs for two widows in Putnam County.
“Our community needs people to serve. It needs help,” Petrosky said. “It’s not about changing the world, it’s about changing the world around you. The people you come in contact with, that’s where you can have the greatest impact.”
On a recent Wednesday, students spent time pulling weeds, washing windows, planting flowers and cleaning the yard of a wheelchair-using veteran who lives in Huntington.
The group partnered with the organization Stand Watch to serve the veteran in Huntington. Stand Watch aims to serve veterans in need in a variety of ways.
Petrosky said his biggest hope was for the students to understand the importance of serving others daily — in big or small ways.
“Jesus told the disciples to take his message of love and compassion to Jerusalem, and then Judea and then the rest of the world,” Petrosky said. “He started it locally. Take it to your city, then take it to your country and region and then take it to everybody else. The fact is, we have people who are struggling. We don’t have to go far. Even some of these kids are struggling. Some of them are here because people paid their way because they couldn’t afford it. Some of these kids that are here are coming from homes with drug issues, all kinds of issues. We don’t have to go far.”
Isaac Mace, 17, of Cross Lanes, said while a lot of kids might not want to give up a week of their summer to serve others, the local mission trip was a rewarding experience for him.
“In the long term, it’s really not a whole lot of time,” he said. “We were called to serve others. God told us to help others and through that we honor him.”
Chloe Harper, 14, of Culloden, has attended the church for several years and has been involved in the student ministry since she was in sixth grade.
Harper, who spent time washing windows outside the home in Huntington last week, said she had been wanting to participate in a mission trip for a while, so she was excited for the opportunity to serve her community.
She said the experience has opened her eyes about the importance of serving close to home — not just abroad.
“There’s a lot of [need] around us. Yes, there’s people in other countries who need help, but our own community needs help too,” she said. “But just because they live around us, doesn’t mean that they’re fine.”
The Elevate Student Ministry meets each Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the church in Scott Depot and is open to students in grades six through 12.
For more information, visit www.churchatthedepot.com
Reach Carlee Lammers at Carlee.Lammers@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-1230 or follow @CarleeLammers on Twitter.