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Youth and Adults Reflect on Accompaniment Experience

From July 3-9, 12 youth and 4 adults traveled to Savannah, GA, for an accompaniment experience. Their week included serving local agenices and individuals in need, as well as learning more about the history and culture of Savannah. Here are some reflections the participants shared at the end of their experience:

Where did you see God this week?

  • I felt God most in all the wonderful friends/people I met. – Caitlin Buckwalter
  • I experienced God in the people we met while serving. They were always so happy to have our help and happier when we finished whatever they had for us to do and had to find more for us to do. – Will Niebuhr
  • I’ve felt God through everyone I met and came with on the trip. I’ve seen God at every worksite I’ve been to, no matter how big or small. He’s always watching. – Liz Scharton
  • The last day when we washed our feet and received hugs. – Sophia Johnson-Alvarez
  • I’ve experienced God in the people I’ve met. They have taught me so much about what it means to love and serve. That is something which I cannot be more thankful for. – Nicholas Bushard
  • I felt God in the washing of the feet and the prayers that took place. – Caleb Ruch
  • I experienced God the most on these occasions – the river walk, the gathering at the end of each day, and the foot washing at the very end of the trip.  – Xander Niebuhr
  • I have experienced God when we got our feet cleaned because everybody was crying and I went out of my comfort zone and hugged them. – Tristen Halsey
  • I have felt God at the ocean. The astounding realization that my God could have made every single think and perfected every detail in the ocean was amazing. – Hannah Ruch
  • I have felt God during our nightly worship, especially when we were all singing. I also felt God a lot during the feet washing. – Faye Belew
  • I’ve experienced God almost everywhere but if I had to choose, I’d say I saw God when all the church groups were together. We would all laugh and have an amazing time and it was always so fun. – Dakota Fisher
  • This week I experience God in our youthworks leaders, Samuel and Domo. Since the two other people on their team were sick and couldn’t help, they took up all the responsibility and did their best to make sure we all had a fun time with only the two of them. You could tell God was guiding their hands as they found time for all of us this week. – Aden Niebuhr
  • It’s hard to pick just one place God has been present on this trip as there have been so many moments that God is so clearly at work. I’ve seen these 12 youth come together and bond as one more that any group I’ve travelled with or led.  They embraced one another in a way that transcends age, gender, personalities, or anything else. They embody what it means to be siblings in Christ. – Sarah Ruch, Leader
  • Being with these 12 amazing youth and 3 other adults has shown me God in the laughs, in the teams, and in the work they did this week. I’ve seen God! – Miles Ruch, Leader
  • Talking to the volunteers at the Salvation Army. – Kent Hardel, Leader
  • I felt God when the youth surrounded us Thursday night and prayed for all of us leaders. I also experienced God through the beauty of this city and the energy of the youth from each group that was with us. – Sharon Hardel, Leader

Where did you see or experience accompaniment?

  • I felt accompaniment in my friend, Sophia, who would always stay with me and comfort me along with everyone else. – Caitlin Buckwalter
  • An accompaniment experience I had this week was with my “soulmate” kid that I felt like I was helping and with him instead of just doing for him – Will Niebuhr
  • I think the kids where the tasks were. They wanted to be played with and that is what we gave them. During and after the foot washing was where people came together to help people stay together internally.  – Liz Scharton
  • When we were at the beach, I felt my cousin, Josie, beside me. – Sophia Johnson-Alvarez
  • A time I felt accompaniment on this trip was at the end, after we had our feet washed. I hugged a lot of people, and I felt really glad to be with everyone at that moment. It was really emotional, but also a relief to release those emotions in that way.  – Nicholas Bushard
  • I felt accompaniment in the Salvation Army produce service because they were right there with us the whole time. – Caleb Ruch
  • I felt like I experienced it at the Salvation Army because I felt like we were working well together with the people there and getting a lot done. – Xander Niebuhr
  • I felt like I was loved by Miles Ruch, a Leader in the group. He took me to Urgent Care when I had an ear infection. He also did the ear drops for me and bought me stuff. – Tristen Halsey
  • I felt accompaniment at the Salvation Army. Mike and Rob worked alongside of us and did not just tell us wat needed to be done and left us to do it. – Hannah Ruch
  • During our first service project, we helped Miss becy and she did all of the tasks with us. After the foot washing, we were all crying when people just hugged each other because they wanted to comfort. – Faye Belew
  • I’ve experienced accompaniment on this trip when our group would travel to sight see. Like when we saw the ocean, it was a new experience for most of us. And for those that it wasn’t, they treated it like it was. – Dakota Fisher
  • To me, accompaniment means building companionship with those you have come to serve. When I visited the Salvation Army Community Center this week, I became friends with all the kids there and they helped me realize what accompaniment really means to me. – Aden Niebuhr
  • Watching our youth listen attentively to each organization leader as they welcomed us and described their calling. Hearing our youth then ask more questions about their lives and experiences. – Sarah Ruch, Leader
  • Being able to walk with these kids and watching as they accompany others in Savannah has been a joy! I’ve seen them touch people’s hearts and show them love! – Miles Ruch, Leader
  • The growth of all participants. – Kent Hardel, Leader
  • I saw accompaniment right from the moment we left when the youth helped Kent get into / through the airport and then helping him throughout the entire trip, then when we worked with another church group to paint Miss Pat’s home and she gave us muffins and shared how to purchase supplies at Home Depot to get the City of Savannah Discount. I also saw accompaniment with all our groups working with the Salvation Army guys, Mike and Rob…teaching us how to organize, use dollies, showing Dakota how to tie and tie, and sharing lunches together. At our home base each group took turns doing building cleanup and preparing / cleaning up after meals. And finally at the foot washing, where we experienced the vulnerability of allowing someone else to wash our feet and pray over us. – Sharon Hardel, Leader





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