The Southern Florida Districts Youth Mission Encounter Miami Edition 2014 held January 17-19 had a tremendous impact on 20 families living in a Habitat for Humanity community.
A total of 197 teens and adult sponsors from Southern Florida churches and two local high schools were divided into 20 teams to completely repaint the exterior of 20 homes located in the Jordan Commons community just a few blocks from the Princeton Church of the Nazarene in the south Miami area.
Leaders Treavor Pound (pastor of the Redland Church of the Nazarene) and Eric Skelton (pastor of the Lehigh Acres Church of the Nazarene) emphasized to teen volunteers to be Jesus to the homeowners and everyone they encountered in the community. They were!
Bertha Neal, one of the homeowners said, These teens have been a true blessing to me. They have done a wonderful job repainting my house. I could never have been able to make my house look so nice.
When everything was finished about 140 gallons of paint had been used through nearly 1,600 volunteer hours. Earnest Wright, another homeowner said he gave his group an A+ for what they had been able to do at his house. The truth is every team got an A for all they had accomplished through paint, example, love and spirit.
Special Encounter speaker, Pastor Obed Santiesteban (Hialeah Good Shepherd Church of the Nazarene) and the Trevecca Nazarene University music group Awaken prepared the teens for their work at a special Friday night service held at the Princeton Church of the Nazarene. Teens and sponsors responded to the challenge by Pastor Santiesteban.
Following the workday on Saturday and some neighborhood play time, a community rally was held in the parking lot of the Jordan Commons clubhouse. Several of the homeowners and other residents were present. Awaken provided the music and Pastor Santiesteban preached in both English and Spanish. There was a great response by teens and the community to his invitation at the end of his sermon.
The Encounter concluded Sunday morning at the Redland Church of the Nazarene. Pastor Santiesteban relayed the story how Moses and the Children of Israel were in battle with a neighboring nation. As long as Moses kept his arms up the Children of Israel were winning the war. He told the teens that it is a similar situation with youth leaders. All youth leaders were called forward and then their teens came forward to hold up and support the arms of their youth leaders. It was a very touching moment as District Superintendent, Dr. David Nixon, gave the concluding prayer.
District NMI President, Dennis Moore said, This has been one of our very best Encounters. The teens were able to stay in one community and together accomplished mighty things. Their Christlike efforts and example were a great demonstration for the community where they worked. He also shared that at least six of the teen volunteers expressed a call to full-time Christian service.
What happened this weekend is a great example of the Church providing a tremendous community service and showing the next generation how they can impact our world with the hope and love of Jesus, Moore concluded.
The Southern Florida Youth Mission Encounter is an annual event, co-sponsored by NYI and NMI.
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