Sunday, July 03, 2011
Deaf Teen Quest and CCCD Mission Trip 2011
It's been a while since I posted, and I apologize for that, but summer time and especially June means the busiest time of the year...this year was no different. Deaf Teen Quest, a ministry of Youth for Christ, made their inaugural trip last year and I blogged about the profound impact on both their teens and our CCCD students. This year brought in fresh faces and a new approach, along with some of the leaders from last year that have taught me a great deal about ministry to Deaf teenagers. While their trip last year was more of a traditional work team experience, this year it was a combination of a lot of things. Each CCCD campus had a representation of about 10 students and a 3-4 staff members and the DTQ group brought 9 students and 5 leaders. Each morning we would work on service projects (one group would stay at CCCD and the other went to a children's home), have free time in the afternoon and then activities and small group discussion time in the evening that tied into the week's message of "The Amazing Race." The Race was correlated to the Christian Life, and each day we would examine a subtopic "Purpose, Priorities, Plan, Promise and Prize."
Why was this approach so powerful? For the first time they were involved with the team like never before. They ate together, they worked together, they played together, they worshiped together and they talked together. With most teams that visit, they get a few aspects of that, but never all of it together. Also, our students had to do REAL work like never before. And they were doing it both at their school (CCCD) and to those in need (the children's home for special needs children). Our teens were saying things like "I am thankful to have a healthy body, hands and feet and not depend on others to feed me or bathe me" and "it makes me feel good to serve other's in need" and staff members were sharing that "I've always seen work teams come to our school and serve us, but now I have been able to go and serve others and I understand that there are people in our backyard that need help." We also had small discussion groups, where staff and DTQ leaders shared responsibility for getting the students to open up and talk in a real way about life. DTQ's approach is solidly built upon relational ministry, which means caring Christian adults who are willing to step into a teen's life and show them the love of Christ and build an ongoing relationship. This is not always about giving the right answers, but more about listening to their pains and questions and building trust. Many CCCD staff members over the years have been doing this, but they may not have realized what they were doing is ministry, and that it impacts lives. Others may view their role at CCCD as more of a job and not so much ministry, but this needs to change and I believe this last week was a positive step in that direction.
DTQ Teens leading a song
Bob Ayres, a good friend and truly a mentor for myself and many others, sharing on John 15 and the Vine.
CCCD teens leading in worship.
Before work started on Monday...
...fading paint on the playground...
...and sans sidewalk, which is tough for the crippled who rely on wheelchairs and walkers.
Excavating and forming for the walkway
My Jamaican bro, Daviot Reid, stepping in a leading by example for his students
Bob Ayres never shies away from being a servant leader
Day 1 work at CCCD
Students painting their own dorms instead of just having someone do it for them...great life lessons!
Shantell Thompson, a brilliant young girl, improved from 5th place last year to 2nd place this year in the National Deaf Spelling Bee...she lost on the word "tsunami"
Repainted play area and a new wheelchair accessible sidewalk at the children's home!
Sidewalk with a few fresh footprints!
Sweet Sandrine, I can't get the memory of a little 10 year old girl out of my mind as she continues to grow up and mature into a bright, beautiful young woman!