Read an article from the New Faith Communities latest newsletter. This fourth edition highlighted our history and outreach.
By Gloria Winston Harris
A mission team from CityWell Wesley at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) representing seven college students and members from CityWell Church, in Durham NC, discovered the true meaning of relational discipleship through serving and ministering together on an international mission trip to Nassau Bahamas. Mission team members from CityWell Wesley were transformed by the outpouring love and welcoming support from the pastor, the Reverend Dr. Philip Stubbs, and congregants from St. Michael’s Methodist Church of Nassau, Bahamas.
Through the positive relationships established with St. Michael’s Methodist Church, new life was formed among the mission team. Numerous telephone conference calls with CityWell Wesley’s mission team led by St. Michael’s pastor, provided the foundation for CityWell Wesley’s first international mission trip. Reverend Stubbs offered prayers and shared essential information about the culture in the Bahamas, the members of St. Michael’s Methodist Church, and the details about the daily missional opportunities planned for the mission team. Most importantly, he prayed with the students each week before the departure of the mission trip and inquired about their personal needs, gifts, and interests. He focused on building a genuine relationship with the members of CityWell Wesley not just the passing of information.
Our mission team had many opportunities to disrupt their normal patterns. The daily missional assignments involved serving the beautiful people of Nassau, Bahamas and the sacred relational places where CityWell Wesley was urged to become more like Jesus. Missional opportunities taught us how to lead praise and worship in a unique setting and one-on-one mentoring sessions to gifted preschoolers from St. Michael’s Preschool. We also served in the church’s soup kitchen by preparing homemade soup and bread to offer to the hungry and homeless individuals living in the local church’s graveyard. Finally, all members of our mission team played bingo and other games with disabled adults living in a community senior citizen adult day care center.
Aside from doing service, the mission team gleaned so much from Bahamian Methodists by participating in lively evening worship services and sharing Holy Communion together. The daily rhythms of small group discussions over morning or evening meals about teamwork served as a guide to help us reflect on the life of the Bahamian people through the lens of Jesus. Most importantly, the mission team learned to relationally minister to the children, hungry, homeless, and disabled adults of the Bahamas.
“The Bahamas was the one place where my life was changed”, says Kayla Davis. “I heard the stories of the hurting people and interacted with them each day,” she says. “I found it interesting how this mission trip dramatically changed my life as well as my relationship with God as I set out to change someone’s life by serving others in need.” Joshua McLaurin concurs with Davis. The Bahamas mission trip had a profound effect on his spiritual growth and maturity in Christ. “The trip allowed me to experience a new culture and changed my whole outlook on life. We were all touched by these beautiful people, their land and their bold faith in one way or another.”
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