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Grace Presbytery » College students find warmth in helping others

College students find warmth in helping others

by Mary Henderson
First Presbyterian Church, Garland

Grace Presbytery Young Adult Ministry sponsored a college mission trip to Moore, Oklahoma, January 5-9 to help with the recovery from last year’s tornado. Here is a summary of the trip:


  • cmt_2014_groupNine college students braved the wintery cold and set out to provide help with a couple of non-profit organizations in Oklahoma City.
  • At the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, we packaged over 2,000 meals in under two hours for the Backpack program. The backpack program helps feed students that have been identified as “chronically hungry”.
  • We helped at the Infant Crisis Center in Oklahoma City, a non-profit organization that supplies life-sustaining formula and food, as well as clothes and diapers for toddlers and babies in times of crisis. Our group stocked shelves of baby food, organized baby and toddler clothes, organized diapers, helped with some general housekeeping, and learned more about the Infant Crisis Center.

Tuesday and Wednesday:

  • cmt_2014_sidingWe spent Tuesday and Wednesday morning at the work site where we worked on a house. The lady who owns the house is named Autumn.
  • We split up into two crews: one working on the siding and re-paneling of the house and the other stretching barbed wire fence across their land.
  • The siding was rotted and leaving the insulation out in the open. After working in the very frigid temperatures, we could only imagine what it was like to live in a house with hardly any insulation.
  • The barbed wire fence was being stretched so that she could get her horses back on her land.
  • One of our college students, Sam Kaskovitch, said, “It was really a blessing to meet the family we were helping. Despite their circumstances, they were incredibly warm and joyful. Their great hospitality was really emphasized by the sheer number of pets they had running around the property. It was obvious that they welcomed everyone into their home. Having the opportunity to interact with people like that really enhanced my own perspective on being grateful.”
  • While we were working, four of the college students went to Emmanuel Baptist Church, which was down the road from the house work site.
  •  cmt_2014_fenceRobin Stewart, who was one of the four, said, “My favorite part of the trip was helping out at the church with all of their food bank organization, all of the members of the church there were extremely nice. I was able to see how much I was helping them and how much they appreciated our help.”

Our week was wonderful and full of service. Thank you to those who supported and sponsored us in our journey!

Trip participants:
Mary Henderson (Garland, First), Kelly Hoover (Richardson, St. Barnabas), Kyle Trost (Grapevine, First), Kathryn Trost (Grapevine, First), Ben Bailey (Grapevine, First), Will Szendrey (Grapevine, First), Robin Stewart (Grapevine, First), Richard Walsh (Grapevine, First), Sam Kasovich (Grapevine, First), Kathie Stewart (Grapevine, First),

Jena Shankle (Southlake, Trinity), Church Schneider (The Colony, Trinity), Wade Hatter (Abilene, First Central)

Mary Henderson is a member of First Presbyterian Church in Garland.