Students Serve Across Los Angeles
This summer 30 teens and leaders from Presbyterian churches throughout the San Gabriel Valley and Riverside gathered daily for a week to become the hands and feet of Christ in service to others. During these five days, those who participated made a difference in the lives of the people they met – and felt a change in their own lives as well. This cooperative effort, an annual event for nearly a decade, was held July 22-26 and drew 15 students from San Marino Community Church.
Day One involved making an impact at Rancho Damacitas in Temecula, CA. This agency serves children and young adults who have been victims of child abuse, neglect, and abandonment. Students helped renovate Rancho Damacitas’ chapel into a welcoming space for worship and where clients can enjoy a place for peace and tranquility.
Day Two introduced participants to the residents of Crossroads, a home in Claremont that assists women re-enter society after incarceration. Students helped clean up their yard and make it an inviting space to sit and talk, or eat lunch or read. The project contributed greatly to Crossroads’ goal of fostering inner growth and future success for those in its program.
Day Three took students to the heart of Los Angeles for a tour of Homeboy Industries. Participants were moved, hearing the stories of those who have left of gangs as they discovered how God was at work in Homeboy’s many ministries.
Day Four led to painting a mobile home with Habitat For Humanity, Riverside. Students helped an older lady who was unable to afford this basic home maintenance, giving her house a new look as well as a new outlook on life for the homeowner.
Day Five was one of reflecting and debriefing – and fun in the pool relaxing.
The theme of the week was the Golden Rule: Do to others as you would have them do to you. However the students took it further, making it the Platinum Rule: Do to others as they would want to be treated. This approach took time and effort getting to know those the needs of those they served, rather than “inflicting” what others may have thought was best.
Interacting with those being served brought inspiration and blessings to those doing the serving. We heard the story of a formerly incarcerated woman who earned not only her GED, but also her BA, and who is currently working on her masters! Another inspiring person was someone who came out of a very unstable environment to became a top realtor in her new company. And there was the former gang member who now leads classes and tours for those trying to get out of a gang themselves. Amazing transformations!
Thank you to all those who prayed for and supported the students and leaders!
Our next Tapestry youth Event will be the Fall Retreat, November 9-11, 2010
Big Bear Christian Conference Center
All Churches are invited
*If you are interested in being on Tapestry leadership to help plan these amazing youth offerings for the Presbytery please contact Rev. Brian Gaeta-Symonds or Rev. Becca Bateman