Impact our community with Christ’s love!
As I headed back to James Madison University after a week-long mission trip to Richmond Virginia, my thoughts were on the community that I had just been immersed in. Our group, six college aged students and two adults, worked alongside individuals from the Church Hill community to assist in building a much needed fence for a Sunday school play area and to be mentors to students in the CHAT community. CHAT stands for Church Hill Academy and Tutoring which consist of a private, Christian-faith based academy, after-school tutoring for PK-12th grade students in the community, and programs teaching things such as life skills and wood working. Arriving to Church Hill on a Sunday evening, we immediately went to their worship service. I was immediately struck by the strong connection of such a strong community. Throughout the week the sense of community was astonishing to me. Every part of the area was connected, by the Academy, the tutoring, and the East End Fellowship worship. Three times during the week we went to the after school tutoring where we hung out with students, became friends with them and connected with them. One of my favorite parts of the whole CHAT community is that they have what they call “street leaders”. These are older students who have grown up in the community and have benefited from the program. They look after and mentor the younger students and they LOVE doing it! This is how they serve their community. It is a beautiful thing. God asks us to serve each other, to serve our communities, and to serve the other communities around us. As I watched the students serve their community and watched my fellow college students serve a community outside their own, I saw God working. I smiled at the ways God’s plan was being accomplished right in front of me. I smiled at how big God’s love really is. This was a trip that reminded me that we must serve each other and we must share this unconditional and breathtaking Love that God surrounds us with everyday.