Students who attend Lititz Christian School have many opportunities to be the hands and feet of Christ. Two of these opportunities come from missions trips taken by classes during their years at LCS. The senior missions trip, featured on Monday’s blog, provides an international cultural experience. However, missions do not only happen outside of the borders of the U.S. The 8th grade class also takes a trip to Wears Valley Ranch in Sevierville, Tennessee each year.
Wears Valley Ranch is a group home for children in crisis situations that they did not cause (i.e. parents are impoverished, drugs, abuse, etc.). The ranch is 120 acres in the middle of rural Tennessee. The children there do not have much interaction with other kids outside the ranch. Ross McCracken, the Middle School Bible teacher at LCS, was involved at the ranch while he was in college. Grove City takes annual missions trips to the ranch and one of his friends visited. Ross flew down to interview for a position at the ranch after hearing about how great it was; he did not want to leave. He lived there for over two years as a mentor. For more information about Wears Valley Ranch, click HERE.
This trip started three years when Ross began teaching at LCS. This year 24 students, as well as 4 staff members, are taking the trip to Tennessee from May 21-25. Students from Lititz Christian are going down to spend time with the children, encourage them, as well as make the Ranch a better place to live for them by doing manual labor projects such as building fences, horse trails, painting, etc. The children at the ranch are so encouraged by quality time with other students who love and care about Jesus. However, the students that go on the trip come home encouraged as well. Here are some portions of a letter written to students going on the Tennessee missions trip this year from Janie, a student who has previously gone on the trip:
The trip to Tennessee was the highlight of my eighth grade year. The experience was incredible and so much fun! Most of the kids would come right up to us and start a conversation. I really enjoyed sitting with different people every day at lunch. We went there hoping that we would impact the kids spiritually, when really they impacted us. My class matured a ton throughout the trip. We came back almost completely different. It’s funny because sometimes you think you know your class, but living with them for five days can bring out the best and worst in yourself and your friends. I hope this trip will change your class for the better, like it did to ours. You are going to have so much fun and I’m really jealous that I can’t go again. Take this opportunity to grow closer to your classmates and to God.
Please pray for this year’s eight graders and their leaders as they prepare for their upcoming trip! Pray for safety traveling, for hearts that are prepared to serve, and for God to do amazing work in and through them. Also, be sure to attend one of our worship services at Grace Church this weekend as we will have a prayer send-off for the team!