“Our class of seniors excelled at ministering to people. They worked hard, yes, but more importantly, they understood the heart behind it.”
– Rod Johnson, Senior Trip Sponsor
Each year at Cookson Hills, our high school seniors have the opportunity to go on a Senior Mission Trip. This is more than just a fun getaway – it’s also an opportunity to serve others. Students do not solicit donations in order to go on the trip. Instead, they work hard throughout the year to earn the funds needed: organizing a garage sale, running the concession stand at home ballgames, pie auction, yard work, and much more. Monies earned fund travel expenses and mission trip projects. Pretty amazing.
This year’s seniors chose to go to Florida to serve with Epic Missions where they…
• painted, cleaned, and shopped for a family in need
• played bingo with senior citizens at a retirement community
• tutored children in an after school program
• painted, washed windows, and peeled up old carpet at a homeless shelter
• washed an airplane and organized supplies for a missionary flight organization
After arriving home, the seniors hosted a story night and each student shared how they saw God move throughout the trip:
Alexi: I saw God move through the hospitality shown to us. There was love everywhere at Epic Missions – it seemed like it was caked into the walls.
Kelsey: I saw God move when we shared our testimonies with a group of students from a nearby group home called Hibiscus. Initially the teenagers there were basically avoiding us. They were more interested in their phones and music than in talking to us. But as we shared our own life and stories, we watched as these teenagers with calloused hearts began to soften. It was very humbling.
Marissa: I saw God move when we worked with the migrant children. As soon as we started loving on them, they seemed to come alive. I also was deeply impacted by my own baptism in the ocean. It was an amazing experience.
Megan: I saw God move through the relationships we built. We visited an elderly couple named Roger and Letty. Roger had quit his job to take care of his wife who was dying of cancer. We went to their house and sang for them. They were immediately deeply touched. And then Roger gave us a 20 dollar bill and told us to go bless someone else. We were supposed to be blessing them but they turned the blessing around on us.
Malachi: I saw God move through my baptism. I distinctly remember the ocean, the waves, and the sky.
Cole: I saw God move all throughout the ministry of Epic Missions. It’s neat to see how they have fingerprints all over the community. They are making a big difference in so many lives. I personally really enjoyed tutoring the 3rd grade kids and connecting with them.
Rainna: I saw God move when we worked with the kids from the Hibiscus group home. Most of us came from similar backgrounds to these kids. But we had something different: we had hope. We have been loved and cared for at Cookson Hills and now we were able to pass that hope along to them. Even a staff member there was amazed at the difference in our lives and it got her thinking about the difference between just providing basic needs for kids and truly caring for their hearts.
At the end of the session, this question was posed to the seniors: “If you were to change one thing about your trip, what would it be?” Their response? “Skip Disney World and serve more instead!” Wow, God is moving through this group of young people.