Students Dedicate Spring Break to the Service of Others

by jmifsud
Categories: Blog, Newswire

    In March, 12 high school students from Emmanuel Evangelical Free Church in Steinbach, Manitoba, gave up their spring break to serve others by volunteering at The Salvation Army’s Barbara Mitchell Family Resource Centre and Community Venture in Winnipeg. The youths worked with seniors’ groups, babies and new mothers, children, and individuals with disabilities as part of the Soar Heartland program offered by Multiply.

    Multiply is the mission agency of the Mennonite Brethren Church in Canada and the US, with a mandate to multiply disciples, churches and missional leaders in 68 countries worldwide. The Soar Heartland program is a seven-day ministry experience to engage youth and support local ministries.

    From L to R: Reese, Morgan, Brooklyn, Quianna

    Morgan Hiebert said she participated last year and was excited to come again. Reese Tourond said he signed up to expand his faith and get closer to God. Quianna Coursey said she took part to get out of her comfort zone and interact with others. Brooklyn Wolf said she was looking forward to being around others of faith.

    The students raised funds throughout the year for their accommodations and meals while in Winnipeg for a week. The first few days of the program are an equipping weekend to prepare the students for ministry, explains student ministry assistant Kirsten Hildebrand. The students participated in worship, learning, prayer and a blanket exercise to help them understand the effects of colonization. They also visited different charitable organizations in the city to gain an understanding of the various services.

    “I came last year, and that played a big part in my decision to get baptized,” says Brooklyn.

    “I was nervous, but after the first night, the whole experience really exceeded my expectations,” says Quianna.

    “The experience helped me to have a more open heart,” says Reese. “It helped me see that serving is needed and the younger generation is needed. You have to give your input. If I can do something to make it better, I should speak up. It was also really freeing being around seniors and kids who are less self-conscious compared to the sometimes-toxic nature of high school.”

    The students helped with BMFRC’s spring break kids camp, participated in conversations with newcomers looking to practice speaking at the English Café, hosted intergenerational activities with the seniors’ groups and helped with fitness classes and the healthy baby program. The week culminated with a free neighbourhood BBQ hosted by the students. The students provided hotdogs, popcorn, cookies and drinks to roughly 150 people on Thursday afternoon.

    We are so grateful for the youth who devoted their spring break to serving others with The Salvation Army.