by Beth Paz

   Gleanings for the Hungry received 21 youth and adults from Teen Night and FPC youth with welcome arms to serve in their nonprofit volunteer Christian ministry for 3 days. We packaged thousands of pounds of walnuts and persimmons to be sent out to folks in need around the world, while other students sewed and made 8 quilts! 

   We learned through missionaries about the church engaging global conditions in China, Israel, and Syria, and studied the significance of gleaning in the Bible and its implications for the Church. After working hard, we headed to the beach to reflect and play! Our trip ended with a powerful night on the beach singing in worship as we watched the sunset and processed a significant call to live our lives as an offering to Jesus! Praising the Lord for God's love packaged in walnuts and blankets that we sent around the world, new friendships, significant prayer ministry, and a new life in Christ!

   Here's what some student's had to say about what it meant to them:

   Ben: Something I am taking home with me, I am not always the most thankful for my food when I have it. During this trip, my eyes were opened to the fact that there are millions of people who face food shortage in their household. They are not sure if they will even get a meal that month whereas we know (normally) that we will have enough food for several months to come.

   Jacob: What I am going to take away is how much the people at Gleanings showed to us what Jesus talked about - how we should love each other. That is the vibe they gave to me. I want to be that person that shows who Jesus is and wants -humans to be kindness and love. 

   Chris: I learned that if you actually put your mind and heart to God he will help you if you want it. I've always said 'I can't do it' until we went to that beach and that is when I confessed my problems to Beth and Hector. What I'm taking away from this trip is that God is a very powerful person and he will always be there when you feel alone or broken.

   Alejandro: I want to be a better version of myself. I left my pride and anger along the beach and have my heart open completely to God and ready for me to follow him.