This past week, 43 participants from nine different Virginia Synod congregations attended the Junior High Servant Event – our Synod’s week-long servant experience for rising 7th – 9th graders. This annual event has been hosted in Virginia Beach by congregations of the Tidewater Conference since 2009. Participants of the Junior High Servant Event have the opportunity to serve directly with organizations that work to address homelessness, poverty, and hunger, as well as to learn about some of the root causes of these issues.
The goal of the Junior High Servant Event is to support youth to grow in awareness, compassion, and in their motivation to return home and be a part of God’s work in their own communities. From the service the youth provided over the last week, they’re sure to have brought back stories and unique experiences that will continue to make a difference in their home communities.
During this year’s Junior High Servant Event, the youth got the chance to participate in a wide variety of activities supporting local organizations that are working to better the Virginia Beach area. One activity from the week was a “Compassion Walk” that travelled the long, hot route that many of the homeless in our community must walk each day to access food and basic services. Youth also got to glean peaches at a local orchard which were later used to feed residents at the Norfolk Mission.