Reflections on CTCYM … from a youth missioner

The following post is from Dulcina N., a youth representing FUMC in Farmington, Arkansas for CTCYM. The photos provided below were taken throughout the week.

This is my first mission trip and I didn’t know what to expect. The first day I met my teammates, I was scared. In fact, I told one of them that I didn’t like him …. how rude of me! Now, we’re friends and I’m going to miss him a lot when I return home.

I think it’s CRAZY how 8 people meet for the first time Sunday evening and immediately connect by working and serving at a client’s house.

One of the most mind blowing things that happened to me this week was sweeping the wheelchair ramp we constructed. I kept asking myself, “How can a group of strangers work together ~ without arguing!!! ~ and construct a ramp?” And, even more amazing, my team and I also re-painted a small church in less than two days. At first, I thought the project was impossible, but, by Friday afternoon, we were done!!!

In less than a week, I’ve gotten much closer to the people in my youth group and those on my work site team. I wish mission trip lasted longer so we could spend more time together helping people in need.

Mission trip has been a great way for me to get closer to God and meet great friends. I’m already looking forward to next year when I have the opportunity to work with a great team serving God and helping someone in need.

In addition to completing several construction projects, the youth and adults also met some of Farmington, Arkansas’ finest men in uniform. After finishing their project, the group visited the local fire department!

The mission team will leave Farmington tomorrow (Saturday) morning and attend closing worship in Fort Smith, Arkansas with 1,400 other missioners. After worship, the group will return to Joshua. Please keep them in your prayers!


{ rise and shine }

The following post is provided by Shelly W, an adult serving on a mission team in Arkansas, representing FUMC.

In the morning, some of us “shine” brighter than others. But, by the time we arrive at our client’s house, all of us are awake and “shining.” I especially see the joy on the youth’s faces when we’re working together for someone who needs our help.

Dulce and I are on a team that works really well together; the smiles and laughs come naturally. I’ve been impressed with the strength of all of our teammates. The guys have dug three post holes and cut lumber to perfectly. We’re all giving our best in this work!

Even though most of us met the first time Sunday evening, we’ve connected by serving as brothers and sisters in Christ’s name. Our entire Living Center has celebrated, rejoiced, and encouraged the boys and girls, women and men, in their accomplishments thus far.
At the end of each work day, people share joys from their day’s experience. Their stories bring smiles to all of our faces. They also encourage us to work even harder the next day. We’re holding each other accountable and keep high expectations for the work we complete: Christ brought us here, to work together, for His glory and His use.

During our fellowship time, someone asked, “How is God using me for His glory?”

Their question prompted me to consider my purpose on this mission trip. I finally asked myself, “Am I glorifying God by enjoying the camaraderie, fellowship, and joy of serving alongside these young people?”

God has richly blessed me with the opportunity to serve on this mission trip. I’m thankful to be in Farmington, Arkansas this week!

the curse + banana pudding … Day 1 in Farmington, Arkansas

This post is provided by Jennifer H., an adult serving as a Living Center Cook.

Teams were assigned and it looked like the Higgins/Kinnear curse would be broken. Jordan Higgins and Jeff Kinnear have worked on multiple mission teams together.
However, before the teams left our Living Center this morning, Jeff and Jordan were working on the same team. The curse is continues … and I had the last laugh. BAHAHAHA!!!!!

Even though it rained throughout the afternoon, everyone continued working at their project site. Now, teams are beginning to trickle back into the Living Center and they are tired and dirty. Some of them started the day this way!!!!

On the menu tonight: pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad, and baked beans. *YUM*

After dinner, everyone will head off-campus to take their showers. The shower situation is interesting because the only place available is a nearby YMCA. The high school offered but those showers are all open. Luckily, the church has a single-stall shower that will be used by the leadership team.

Activities, including a God-filled worship service, are planned later this evening.
We’ll conclude the festivities with a special dessert treat: banana pudding. *YUM*

Many thanks for all the prayers coming our way.

Until tomorrow,


on the road to Arkansas

At publishing time, the youth and adults traveling today made it safely to their Living Center in Farmington, Ark. Your continued prayers are appreciated as these “missioners” complete God’s work and personify what it means to BE a disciple in order to MAKE disciples.

Amidst yawns and very sleepy eyes, seven youth and seven adults representing First United Methodist Church were commissioned at the early worship service by Rev. Clint Jones before departing to Farmington, Arkansas for the 2012 Central Texas Conference Youth in Mission (CTCYM) trip.

The 14 participants from Joshua are:

Shelly W., Laurie W., Collin W., Braden W., Jennifer H., Jordan H., Jenny M., Jeff K., Matthew F., Sean E., Noah C., Dulcina N., Laura S., and Marsha T.

The youth and adults begin work at their designated project sites tomorrow (Monday), please keep them in your prayers!

Until then ……

CTCYM 2012 ~ mission team headed to Arkansas!!!

Mission outreach at First United Methodist Church (FUMC) continues in Joshua, Texas and beyond our community’s borders. This weekend, more than a dozen representatives from FUMC will embark on a mission trip to Farmington, Arkansas.

Youth and adult chaperones will depart Sunday, June 10, after a special commissioning at the 8:30 worship service, and participate in the 2012 Central Texas Conference Youth in Mission (CTCYM) experience.

CTCYM brings more than 2,500 youth and adults together to put Christian faith into action by repairing and rebuilding homes and small facilities weathered by age, poverty or natural disaster. The CTCYM experience is brought together by the spirit of God and a volunteer task force of youth and adults from around the Central Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Youth groups from across the Conference blend together to become CTCYM Living Centers and partners in mission. Each Center is led by a well-trained, all-volunteer staff dedicated to providing participants with a spirit-filled week of service, devotions, worship, fellowship and fun!

You can follow this mission experience of FUMC by reading this blog. More frequent updates will be provided on the church’s Facebook page. Your notes of agape love and comments posted on this blog will be read by all participants. Prayers are appreciated!

{ our work is done }

Yesterday was our team’s last day at Ms. Hester’s and we finished her covered porch minutes before the rain started falling. The team had a great week and did an excellent job on the entire project!

It must have been our sheer exhaustion, or incredible sense of humor, but we were still laughing and having a wonderful time on the project site. Each time Nicole held Sissy, the dog, Brandon would impersonate Paris Hilton and say, “That’s hot!”

What a funny guy.

Ms.Hester is so grateful for her new covered porch. She was so proud to show it off to family and neighbors who visited throughout the week. One thing’s for sure, many hours will be spent on this porch!

Thank you, again, for your continued prayers and support throughout this trip.

At publishing time, the team is currently eating breakfast in Sulphur Springs, Texas and we’re just a few hours from home. We will see you later!

Love you!

Closing Worship at Henderson Settlement

Good foggy morning to ya from Frakes, Kentucky!

It is (sadly) our last morning at Henderson Settlement. We have a few more hours of work to do at Ms.Hester’s house and then we’ll be headed back to Texas. Please pray for our safe travels and return home ….. we are all ready to sleep in our own beds!

Last night, after supper, we went to Hope UMC for the closing worship service. The praise and worship music was led by members of the Henderson Settlement staff, including the Executive Director. They did a really great job! Kirsten was also a part of the worship team, as she served communion.

Pastor Kevin and his wife, Cindy have been so welcoming and gracious to us this week. Britton told Cindy to call her when the next batch of chocolate eggs were ready to be decorated!!!!

In a few moments, we will eat breakfast and then visit the Settlement’s craft store where local handmade products are sold to the public. Afterwards, we will return to Ms.Hester’s and finish her covered porch.

Thank you for all your prayers and comments, keep them coming!

The Mission Team