SERVE-ing in Kamloops

By Janae Hoel

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A little over a month ago, a group of 14 youth and 4 leaders from SBC went to Kamloops to join youth groups from across Western Canada at “Serve 2018”, to serve the city of Kamloops and the surrounding area for a week. Our team from SBC was assigned two different jobs for two days each. The first was helping an older gentleman who had gone through recent personal loss and was struggling with his health, to fix up his yard, organize his garage, and help out with a few things around the house. Our second assignment was being 18 extra sets of hands at the Kamloops Food Bank. Our tasks there included packing hampers, sorting produce and baked items, categorizing boxes, cleaning parts of the building, and interacting and serving those who came to use the services the Food Bank offered.

We asked our group to share a couple sentences that describe some of their experiences at Serve. Here are their responses:

Jessica Pugh – Grade 8
I had so much fun at Serve and I made so many new friends that I still talk too. I also loved our speaker and the music worship concert every night. I had so many laughs and made so many more new memories. I hope to go again.

Brinay Burdick – Grade 10
My serve experience was amazing! Something that I really enjoyed was watching the transformation of the man we helped from looking sad and angry to always smiling and being so encouraging to us while we worked on his yard. It was also really sweet to grow closer as a youth group during that period. It was so neat to see how some of the simple things we did made a huge difference in people's lives! It was so cool to see Jesus work through us like that!

Brin Young – Grade 11
Serve was a really amazing trip. It was cool to see God working through us to help Glen and the food bank! I saw him draw us together as a group. I learned a lot from the speaker and from worship nights and made some great friends.

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Amy Berekoff – Grade 9
Serve was such an amazing experience! I had so much fun with everyone and serving others and God. One of my favourite parts was when we were serving Glen at his house doing some landscaping and cleaning up his garage. We were there for 2 days and I found it so cool how his mood shifted from the first day, when he didn’t talk much and was kind of grumpy in a way, to at the end of the second day, when he was more talkative, joyful and seemed relieved to have everything looking nicer. I enjoyed serving him and everyone else during the week and I’m looking forward to our next Serve trip!

Dawson Burdick – Grade 11
I loved how we (the group) were able to build into each other and grow as friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. I feel that the Lord worked in all of our hearts while we were serving as well!

Lincoln Hoel – Grade 10
Going to serve was a super fun time, and it is something that I would recommend to anybody who is considering going at all. I made some friends, got to know people I already knew better, learned more about God, and we helped out the city of Kamloops by serving together. I will remember my experience and hopefully keep the relationships that I made while I was there for years to come.

Rachel Berekoff – Grade 12
My favourite parts of serve were getting to connect and become closer with some our youth group that I don’t know very well. I also enjoy the speaker at the evening church services. She talked about the power and the beauty of God and how we can trust Him always. It was so cool to see 300+ people all in one room learning and worshiping the Lord!

Brooklyn McKelvey – Grade 9
Serve was such an amazing experience, I have lots of great memories from the trip that I’ll never forget. One part that stuck out for me was on our last day at the food bank when we were about to leave, all the people who we’d worked alongside were so thankful for all the work we’d done. They were so impressed with how quickly we’d gotten work done and I was so glad that we’d made a difference for them. It was also amazing to see how much work goes in at a food bank and to see how many people are in need of places like that. I am so thankful to have been able to go to serve and experience all this and more.

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Tianna Riemer – Leader
Youth trips are great. Hanging out with teens, sleeping on gym floors, eating meals I didn’t cook...what’s not to like?! But for real, having the opportunity to have longer conversations and serve along side our fabulous students is priceless and I’m so thankful to be able to take the time to do that.

Janae Hoel – Leader
I thoroughly enjoyed this trip with our youth. I enjoyed serving side by side with them. I enjoyed having the chance to bless some people we wouldn’t usually have the opportunity to bless with them. But most of all, I enjoyed getting to know each of them a little bit better. Having an intentional time for relationships to grow, both between each other and with God, is a wonderful thing to be a part of, and is even worth the sweaty gym floor sleeps.

Shaun Johnston – Leader
I could have stayed home and weeded my garden, but I went to Serve and weeded someone else's yard and I'm so glad I did. Firstly, because it helped someone who really needed a hand. Secondly, weeding alongside someone is a good way to get to know them and the youth on the trip were definitely worth getting to know. And ask me sometime about the Kamloops food bank - an amazing operation.

Thanks for reading! If you’d like to hear more stories from the trip, please ask any of our youth that went next time you see them and I’m sure they’d be happy to share!

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