Lightshine is a mission trip to our very own city. We spent the week doing service projects and loving on those who others have passed by. The teens do a lot of good for the community, but also this week is about teaching our kids that you don’t have to travel to a different city or country in order to show God’s love. Our own city is full of crime, poverty and homelessness. But this week, our teens shone God’s light right through all the darkness.


(1) The rescue shelter for men that we joined for worship one night. I met a man named Jesse who I spent most of the evening talking to. Jesse was a powerful reminder to me of what it looked like to trust God even when life is difficult. Spending time there reminded me of the people that Jesus hung out with while He was here on earth. Not the most educated or the cleanest or the wealthiest, but those who could most readily see their need for Him.

(2) Watching my teens serve. This week I was so proud of several of our teens. Ones who stepped out of their comfort zones, ones who had great attitudes about  unfair situations, ones who stepped up as leaders, and ones who handed out hand fulls of dignity to strangers.

(3) Getting to know some of the other teens better. Obviously, you guys know that I adore my girls (1:57 in the video below) because I talk about them all the time, haha! But there are other kids in the youth group that I really got to know this week. Some of the younger girls, in particular, impressed me with their maturity and sweetness and then a couple of the boys cracked me up all week by following me around and asking for “Rach Story Time.” Apparently, I have good stories. On average I told at least 10 stories a day. It turns out that I’ve had a rather humorous life… 😉

I made a short video from the week which kind of sums things up for the most part:

(1) The first song is “Do Not Pass Me By” which I recorded at the rescue mission when we were worshiping with the men there. The second song is “Magnificant” which I recorded during one of our group’s worship times late at night.

(2) At the beginning of the video (0:23), the little wire things in the ground are a tribute to every person who was murdered in our city last year. The small one (0:20) was a 6 month old killed by domestic violence.

(3) The guy making the weird face near the end (2:40) is one of the interns. His name is Rob. He’s hilarious and I’m glad I got to know him a little better this week.

(4) At the very end (2:41), the guy with his foot stuck in the chair was one of the site leaders. The chair collapsed as he was standing on it and amazingly he didn’t break a bone or spill a bit of paint!

(5) I was the “group 3 leader” so most of this video is just our group. There were 2 other groups doing the same things we were which was very cool. 🙂

It was a great four days. Absolutely love my teens and love seeing God work through them and working in our city!


8 responses to “Lightshine!

  1. What a beautiful post. We need more people bringing happiness to, and thinking of, others in this world.

  2. This was such a great post to read! It was a great reminder that “you don’t have to travel to a different city or country in order to show God’s love”!! Which is definitely something I can always be reminded about 🙂 Good for you for being a leader 🙂

  3. How amazing!! What a great way to serve the Lord and your community!!

  4. Angie @ The Fitness Apple

    What an awesome trip 🙂

  5. ittybitsofbalance

    This is so encouraging! Our pastor was actually talking the other day about how so many people are under the impression that mission trips can only happen in third world countries, when really SO much of the United States is impoverished. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  6. Wow.. this is nice! =) I’m so blessed to see how God is using you to share and spread His love!

  7. What a fun video! This must have been sooo inspiring to be a part of!

  8. Oh my gosh — what an amazing way to spend your spend! 🙂

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