YOUNG PEOPLE from Wesley-Freedom United Methodist Church in Eldersburg recently traveled to Nassau in the Bahamas to give a little of themselves. They learned a great deal in the process.
Through "Mission Discovery," a sponsor organization, the group of 17 teens and three adults spent a week at Boys' Industrial School in Nassau building personal relationships and guiding Christian relationships.
Wesley-Freedom youth leaders Bob and Sally Jacoby were joined by Jeremiah Washington, a South Carolina minister and founder of CHILD (Community Hands in Love and Development) FTC as they led the mission team. The team consisted of Amanda Adams, Mike Bowers, Carrie Earp, Shannon Frommelt, Nick Gabler, Lauren George, Pat Jarboe, Keith Long, Nathan McCullough, Kyle Mitchell, Phil Petrides, Karen Platte, Robin Platte, Micah Reese, Bree Shaffer, Shannon Wells and Kate Werner.
During their time at Boys' Industrial School, a detention center for boys ages 10 to 16, the mission team conducted a day camp that included games, crafts, Christian clowning, skits, songs and personal testimonies. Tie-dyed T-shirts made on the first day were a big hit with the boys.
"The tie-dyed shirts [were] a great icebreaker that gave all the kids a chance to get acquainted," said Sally Jacoby. "The boys at the center were just thrilled that they got to keep the shirts for themselves."
Boys detained in the center were there for offenses ranging from gang activity and handgun violations to truancy and disrespect for teachers.
"I found the kids there to be the complete opposite of what I expected," Micah said. "They were very receptive to what we were trying to do."
This was the third mission trip for Micah, who is incoming president of Wesley-Freedom's Senior High United Methodist Youth Fellowship. Keith Long served as president for two years and will be leaving to attend college in the fall.
While in Nassau, the mission team also worked to improve and beautify the detention center's grounds by painting, cleaning and planting about 200 shrubs grown as part of the detention center's vocational training program.
While these tangible aspects of the mission were important, lessons learned by the group were what made the trip so memorable.
"The ministering that went on between our own kids and the kids at the detention center was really the life-changing work done on this trip," said Sally Jacoby. "I've never seen these kids work and get along so well as they did on this trip. It was incredible."
If the children are looking for new reading material to inspire their summer dreams, check out the books at the Scholastic Book Fair at the Eldersburg library.
The book fair runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. Scholastic Book Fairs are being held at the other four county library branches. Call for branch times.
The fair offers hundreds of paperbacks for all ages. "Ms. Frizzle" from the popular children's show "The Magic School Bus" will make a guest appearance at the Eldersburg branch. Similar activities are planned for the other branches.
Proceeds from the book fair will benefit Children's Services of Carroll County Public Library.
Sykesville's Recreation and Parks summer concert series continues this weekend with performances by B.W.A.B. and Black & White on Friday evening.
B.W.A.B. will entertain from 6 p.m. to 7: 30 p.m. This four-piece band from Liberty High School is a self-taught rock/alternative band. The group will perform at several local colleges in the fall.
The stage will belong to Black & White from 7: 30 p.m. to 9: 30 p.m. The duo of electric and acoustical guitarists will perform its blend of blues, classic rock, reggae and folk music.
Concertgoers should bring blankets, refreshments and the family to Cooper Park, off Route 32 adjacent to Sykesville Middle School for the free concert.
Pub Date: 7/21/98