Middle School Mission Trip

A Reflection from Melissa Briles about her experience leading the Middle School Mission Trip to Milwaukee on June 24-29:

When asked if I would be willing and able to lead the Milwaukee mission trip I could have easily said NO with acceptable reasons: in the middle of new-hire classroom training at work, the Toronto mission trip, that Friday evening was booked to honor my dad by walking as part of Relay for Life, using another week of vacation time for a non-vacation, and so on.

My heart and head instantly said yes when I was invited to lead the trip; however, there was the training class and vacation time. I was not scheduled to be in the classroom at all that week. My remaining vacation time for the year was already schedule for actual vacations. Over the past years, I have wisely used my vacation time and was able to build up my sabbatical time. Sabbatical time would allow me to retire earlier than normal. I view vacation/sabbatical time as a treasure. It was a treasure I was storing up on earth. The Bible teaches us to store our treasures up in heaven and not on earth. (Matthew 6: 19-21*)

On earth treasures can be destroyed, stolen, or in my case, unused. I know all too well not everyone gets to enjoy retirement, as my dad passed away before he could benefit from all that he stored up.

I also treasure relationships, especially mine with God. A relationship with God includes an amazing treasure - true love. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) Saying yes to leading this mission trip allowed for an opportunity for youth to experience these treasures. During the week, the youth saw and heard others’ relationships with God during LifeChangers and church time. The youth and I got to build relationships at our daycare service site – St. Ann’s South (Stein) with young children by providing extra hands for the staff and interacting with societies outcasts (the elderly, mentally and/or physical disabled, individuals with dementia or Alzheimer). While God’s love was present during breaking bread (soup kitchen) & worshiping with the community and church members of Unity Lutheran Church and at the Adullam cook-out by serving a meal & playing with kids.

*For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Sue Koch