Church members move out of their comfort zone

The Bridge Church mission group will travel to Trinidad for a work from July 21 to 28. There will be 27 members participating, ranging from the age of 14 to late 40s, and the group will leave from New Jersey on July 20.

They will be working with two churches in South Trinidad, one in Williamsville and the other in New Grant. The mission group is preparing to work with around 300 to 400 children. During the daytime, the group will be helping out with the vacation bible schools, putting on skits, worshipping, and sharing music, art and crafts. During the evenings, they will be conducting outreach services at both churches, sharing testimonies, dance and special music.

The primary goal of the trip is to join efforts with the local Christian churches in Trinidad. The group's motive is to help the local Trinidadians serve their community through kid's ministry and outreach services. The motto for their trip is 'To Love Is To Serve;' if you say you love someone then there always has to be action that accompanies the words.

'I desire to give these 27 members of our team a chance to get out of the comfort zones of Berks County,' said pastor Joshua Hartman. 'There's something amazing that happens in one's life when they interact with people from a different culture. As a leader, I desire to see our team grow in their faith and relationship with God.'

For most of the group members, this will be their first time on a mission trip and traveling outside of the country. Past missions trips include building houses and helping with vacation bible schools in Mexico. They also helped build a house in Mississippi, a year after hurricane Katrina hit the coast, for a man who was unable to afford to rebuild.

A lot of the mission group is excited to go abroad and share their similarities in worship with people of another country. One girl was even inspired, after seeing pictures of past mission trips, to make this her first one.

'I look forward to worshipping with other believers and seeing the differences and similarities between our two cultures,' said Sarah Overton, 15.

'As a Christian, I believe we are called to show the love of Christ to people, both locally and abroad. This trip is a great way to allow us to help the local churches of Trinidad help their community,' said Hartman. 'I strongly believe in local missions, which means serving our community and meeting needs. However, there is something so moving when you see third world countries and you get to hear people's stories. Mission trips help us realize just how blessed we are to live in the country we do. It also challenges an individual to keep the focus of their life on others and not just their self. Many times we go on a mission trip thinking that the people we encounter are going to be changed, but the most change often happens in our own lives as we get outside our comfort zones.'

If you would like to donate to the trip, you can send a check to The Bridge Church, PO Box 422, Hamburg, PA and put Trinidad in the memo line. All donations are tax deductible.

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