WEPC Youth Participate in CROSS Missions Program
Earlier this year, 15 middle school youth and four adult advisers from West End Presbyterian Church spent a weekend in Charlotte participating in the CROSS Missions program.
CROSS, a ministry of Myers Park Presbyterian Church, provides opportunities for youth to share Christ's love through feeding the hungry, housing the homeless and loving those in need.
The mission team had the opportunity to visit two ministry sites as part of this program.
The first was to the Crisis Assistance Ministry, a wide-ranging ministry that provides rent assistance, medical aid and free clothing. The team of youth spent the morning sorting, folding and hanging clothes for the store that is free for Crisis clients.
The second stop was to the Men's Shelter of Charlotte, which provides safe shelter, meets basic needs, and provides access to transitional services for homeless men in the greater Charlotte area.
The middle school students of WEPC prepared and served an afternoon dessert and then played board games and cards in the dining hall with a few of the residents.
Associate Pastor Chip Pope shared about this visit with the congregation.
"After about an hour [of being at the shelter], I went off to the side of the room to just watch," said. "As I looked around the room, I saw two seventh-grade girls leading four men in a game of Monopoly, occasionally reading the Chance cards and pushing the game along. I saw one of our sixth-grade boys listening intently and making eye contact for what had to have been more than 20 minutes to a man tell his story. And three others had taken it upon themselves to serve lemonade and cookies. And others were engaged in a heated game of Scrabble. The youth and the residents were all wonderful."
Eighth-grader Mackenzie Lewis expressed sentiments felt by many of the youth.
"I did not realize the extent to which homelessness is a problem," said Lewis. "I had a great time getting to know the men."
Sixth-grader Dustin Fletcher added, "We should pray for those who live in this kind of situation."
The youth of West End Presbyterian Church have a long history of attending the CROSS Missions program, and this year marked the fourth consecutive winter the middle school youth group has made this trip. They plan to continue this partnership in the future.
West End Presbyterian Church is a Presbyterian Church (USA) congregation and is located at 275 Knox Lane in West End, one block northwest of the intersection of N.C. 211 and N.C. 73.
More like this story