MISSION CAMPERS PACK SHOEBOXES FOR OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD
By Simone T. Owens Summer Intern
First through sixth grade youth at Central United Methodist, First Presbyterian, Highland Park United Methodist, and St. Luke Lutheran Churches spent last week serving the Florence community through mission camps. Throughout the week, the children spent time visiting assisted living facilities, McLeod Hospice, the PADD House, and a few other places around town. The children also spent time making blankets for an orphanage in Ethiopia, Africa, making and filling Christmas shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, and baking cookies for family members of people in hospice care. This is the fourth year that the churches have held summer mission camps for children. “As believers, we are trying to teach these children to serve all of God's people as a way of saying thank you to God for all of our blessings,” says First Presbyterian Director of Children's Ministry, Alexis Morris.
The children completed two to four projects per day during the four day duration of the mission camps. Mission camp participants also used the time that they spent at the different mission locations to minister to the people at those locations. “We share the love of Jesus with people that we come in contact with,” says Morris. The mission camps not only served to benefit people who were visited during the missions, but they also benefited the children who served those people. “It helps children realize that they can make a difference in serving the community as a way of showing love to Jesus's people,” says Morris. The camp is expected to continue next summer.