Teen Mission Adventure 2017 Builds Bridges

June 01, 2017 | Richie Brower

What happens when teens and adults partner to serve people and communities right here in our own conference territory? Bridges of appreciation and curiosity are built.

Just a few days after Teen Mission Adventure (TMA) 2017 concluded, this message went up on the community reader board in Fairfield, Wash.: “Thank you to the Teen Mission Adventure Team for painting and cleaning up winter in Fairfield.” The sign stayed up for the next two weeks.

Why was this small community so appreciative to the TMA group? Because of what this group did for their town in one week. These young people painted the basement of the community center, the sanctuary of the local Adventist church that had been damaged by water and the town hall office, plus did weeding and cleaning at the local senior care center.

Cheryl Loeffler, Fairfield city clerk and treasurer, shares, “Those kids can come back anytime. They were great."

The TMA week is marked by a lot of hard work, laughter, worship mentoring for leadership and spiritual discovery.

Other projects tackled during the event included helping spruce up a neighbor’s home with paint, trim and new doors; painting the boys’ dorm at Upper Columbia Academy in Spangle, Wash.; repairing a damaged green house at the academy; building grow boxes, fencing and trails at a womens’ shelter; removing wallpaper at Discovery Junction in Spokane, Wash.; cataloguing the conference office library in Spangle; and raking leaves. Think the list is long? Try doing all these jobs in one week.

Besides the projects, there was time to play and connect as the entire group was divided into teams that worked together each day and unpacked their experiences during team time each evening.

Generation gaps disappeared as young and old(er) team members put their hands to tasks as a group.

Morning and evening worships included singing led by the teens and thoughts from older teens, adult staff and Richie Brower, Upper Columbia Conference associate director of youth and family life.

At the agape dinner Friday evening, story after story of God’s provision were told. Miraculous weather change and personal impact were shared.

Markus McIntyre shared an experience he had as he was weeding outside the Fairfield Care Center. A resident knocked on the window and said, “Young man, you have restored my faith in young people.”

Another group recounted how the rain held off all morning while they worked, poured when they went inside for lunch and then stopped again until quitting time that afternoon.

Cheryl Wallace says, “Unfortunately, all things come to an end.” Sunday morning the adventure ended with a farewell handshake, hugs and promises to be back next year.