Lent Newsletter Excerpt | Serve Support

Written by Pastor Ben Wimmers, Pastor of Youth and Family

Giving Hope Youth are heading to Lynden, Washington, from June 22-29. Going on a Serve trip is not an event for just the youth but the whole church. It has been well understood by the church that missions cannot happen in isolation but is the work of whole congregations. As the youth and leaders prepare for this weeklong mission experience, there are several ways that you, the congregation, can support and encourage us.


Pray for the youth. This is their first missions experience, and it can be intense. Whether is comes from adjusting to the busy schedule of Serve, to meeting new people, to being challenged in what you believe about God and missions, it can be a lot to process in a short and busy time. Commit our group to prayer as we prepare to go, while we are there, and when we return and unpack with experience.

Be a Prayer Partner…

One of the most important things that was done for me a participant on a Serve trip, was having a prayer partner. Every day I opened a letter from a church member, usually with a little treat like chocolate, and read a note of encouragement, letting me know they were praying for me.

Can you be a prayer partner? If so, can you commit to writing 8 notes of encouragement to one of our youth for each day of their trip? Notes for the day they leave, their Sunday at church and bonding with their small group, four workdays, a day of fun, and for coming home. It is a great gift to know that someone is praying for you every single day. Ask Pastor Ben for more information about becoming a prayer partner!


 Talk to the youth, find out who is going (you can ask Pastor Ben) and listen to their hopes, why they want to go. Perhaps you have a story about when you went on a weeklong service trip that you can share. Let them know that you are praying, tell them you are excited for the fundraising events that will come. Share your hopes for their experience and tell them you are eager to hear them share what they learned about God, themselves, the church, and missions when they return. Encourage them to have a bigger imagination for what God will do with them and through them.


To send 10 youth and 2 leaders to Lynden for the week, we need to raise around $7,500 CDN.  The money goes towards food, small group resources, insurance, the fun day off, supplies for service projects, and transportation.

Our first fundraising event will be on March 2. That evening will be a celebration of the 55th anniversary of Living Hope CRC. The youth are excited to host a dinner which will involve set up, clean up, and preparation of the food. The cost of the dinner evening will go to their Serve trip. We will also have a silent auction happening throughout the evening for themed baskets that the youth will put together as well as a live auction!

Fundraising has two primary benefits for both the youth and the church. The first is that it gives the youth a chance to continue to develop their servant hearts. They must put time and energy into fundraising, thinking about the needs of others that their efforts are going to impact. The second benefit is for the congregation. They get to see who is going on the Serve trip and support these youth financially (which also is a benefit to the youth as they encounter a church family that demonstrates their care and investment for them).

As our youth group prepares for this service trip, I would invite you to think about how you can support them, through prayer, encouragement, and financial support.