High School Kids Help Out

by Chris DeVille

Epic wasn't the only trip on the schedule this summer for the Xenos high school ministry. A few weeks after Epic, a group of 23 students and four leaders traveled to Buffalo, where they worked with mentally disabled children at Heritage Schools. The trip was an opportunity to live out the gospel in word and deed, and trip leader Katie Adams said the students were up to that challenge. "The majority of the students on the trip were really mature and zealous workers for God," Adams said.

The main focus of the trip was befriending and interacting with mentally disabled children. "The students had the opportunity to serve and love kids in very difficult circumstances," said Brian Adams, Katie's husband, who was also on the trip. "They gained lots of insights on God's character, love, and living their lives for Him. It was incredibly refreshing to spend a week with 23 high schoolers who are radically sold out for God, and encouraging that they were able to form new friendships, come to deeper convictions about the Lord, and serve in a practical way for a community in need."

One unexpected benefit of the trip was that the students got to share their faith with 15-20 teachers at Heritage, many of whom had never heard the gospel before. "There were so many seeds planted from the students sharing the gospel with the teachers and student aids at the school," Katie Adams said. "It was honestly surprising how well the adults took to having high school aged kids share their opinions about God with them."

In their downtime, they visited Niagara Falls and enjoyed the gym, roller rink, and game room at Buffalo Christian Center, their home base for the week. There was a lot of good fellowship time, including a student-led communion centered on praise and thanksgiving. "Some of my favorite moments with the students were the times in the car," Katie Adams said. "The four leaders each drove a minivan that was borrowed from someone in fellowship. Everywhere we went, the same students who were in our car on the ride up stayed in our car throughout the week, so it made it possible to develop some pretty cool relationships with the people in your individual van. It was definitely the highlight of my summer."