William Brock returned from his time in Washington, D.C., more energized than when he left. A rising sophomore at Frederica Academy, William jumped at the opportunity to serve with twenty other high school age youth from Wesley United Methodist Church. The mission trip this year would take the group to the nation’s capital, serving children and the homeless.
Hardly a summer vacation, William and his fellow volunteers slept on the floor of a church and waited in line for showers. Days would be divided between a vacation Bible school type experience and service opportunities. The program, hosted by a D.C. church, is one that engages different youth groups all summer. Each week, a new group arrives to serve and operates out of the church.
Time spent with children each day consisted of singing worship songs, arts and crafts projects, Bible study sessions, and group games with a spiritual theme. When asked what was the most rewarding part of the experience for him, William responded that “Just seeing the kids’ faces when we said we were going to play with them.” He added, “I expected to go and just help a few kids, but I came away with lifelong connections. Some even found me on Instagram. I expected to change a kid’s life, but they changed mine.”
The two primary service opportunities that the group supported were at the D.C. Central Kitchen and Thrive DC. At D.C. Central Kitchen, William’s primary responsibilities were in food preparation. While there, the kitchen was feeding over 5,000 people a day. William spent his time preparing 440 pieces of chicken for the next day’s meals. The program at Thrive DC provides the homeless community with toiletries, socks, shoes, sandals, laundry opportunities, and a chance to shower. Clients come in three days a week to pick up grocery bags full of food.
At the end of each mission trip, the youth leader announces the trip for the following year, and it obviously excited William. Invigorated from his recent experience, he already told his mom, “I’m going to Costa Rica next year, for sure.” One to lead by both word and action, William said, “I definitely encourage other students to do the same” and go on a mission trip.