Serve Boldly Mission Trip to Denver
July 7-12, 2019
Thank you for your support of our F(irst) L(utheran) Y(outh) Group trip to Denver. Our FLY group partnered with the youth group at Peace Lutheran to make a life-changing trip to Denver to learn, serve, and grow in our faith and friendships. While on this trip, we were divided into work crews with people from other churches across the country, and we served at various social service agencies and outreach partners across the wider community of Denver. Through our experiences, we learned about the broken systems of poverty, hunger, homelessness, racism, and discrimination, and partnered with leaders in the community who were addressing these issues.
Serve Boldly is an ELCA organization that hosts youth mission trips in many cities around the country, and we were excited to be a part of their first summer in Denver. The organization leads young people in worship and reflection to learn how our service impacts our faith, and they build relationships with their communities that last from summer to summer. They have adopted the ‘accompaniment’ model of mission, which means our youth support the vision and work already being done in a place, so that programs carry a sustainability and lasting impact. Our particular trip to Denver had 55 participants from five congregations from Minnesota, Texas, and Kansas.
Our young people are simply amazing. They took risks, walked out of their comfort zones, were strong leaders, acted with compassion and served with God’s love. I am proud of each and every one of them. I also extend a word of thanks to Julie Barstow, the youth director at Peace, Brian Medaris, the adult leader from Peace, and Ish Rodriguez, our adult leader from First. Brian and Ish gave up a week to live, work, and serve with 10 teenagers, showing them love and care, and Julie has been a wonderful partner in ministry.
The theme of the summer was “Cross the Line,” and we learned how Christ loved people beyond any boundaries they put up between themselves, and how Jesus crossed the line to love and serve people. We are called to do likewise.
I can tell you stories from the week, and hope to have that chance. But the witness and testimony from the week is done best from our young people themselves. We want to share our story and offer our gratitude to you for praying for us, loving us, and financially giving and supporting us. This was a life changing week, and it would not have been possible without you.
This is a book of letters and essays written from our youth to share their story with you.