We Are America

Voices of the Nation's Future

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Photo ofCarter Ferguson
When we arrived at the Church we were staying in, a man living right across the street from us told us to lock our doors and cars at night. This was a very uneasy feeling, but a feeling of sadness that the people who live around there do not feel safe at night. The houses around us were in very poor shape, and you could tell that the area wasn’t a wealthy part of town. Going into the trip I was planning on working more hands-on and doing jobs that were labor intensive because on my first mission trip I had worked on a farm. But this time I was assigned to the food pantry for the whole week. I was very shocked that I was going to work there; I had hyped up the whole trip thinking I was going to get to build things and put stuff together. I went to bed that night angry.
The pantry looked like a warehouse. There were pallets of food everywhere and it looked to me like it was going to be boring. I was hoping that maybe I would like it after the first day and thought that maybe it was just a slow day. I was right. After a few days of working in the pantry, I grew to love it. It was fun to prepare the aisle for the next day when people would come in to get the things they needed. I liked to watch it all come together. The people who volunteered there were the nicest people and the people who came to get food were always so nice. One day a lady needed two carts to pick up food for someone who requested it. I helped push one cart while she pushed hers. She told me what to pick out for the other person.  I could tell she was very appreciative of my help and was glad that she could get the things she needed. It was an eye opener of how lucky I am to have things to eat every day and to not have to worry about where my next meal is going to come from. I made sure to always ask how peoples' days were going and though the people who received food there were going through such harsh times, not once when I asked how their day was did one say “not very good”. They were always so positive and thankful for our help. It was good to see that they kept a positive mind throughout the struggles they were going through. The next few days in the pantry were very fun. I mopped the floor inside the freezer room, packed produce, and sorted cans to find ones that had been tampered with. It was an all around amazing experience.
God puts things in our life that we may have not expected whatsoever but it is His plan all along. He knew that while I may have wanted to be doing manual labor, I needed to be in the pantry. He knew that the people needed our Church’s help and how much it meant to them. I have full faith that I was placed in that position for a reason. I know that it was to benefit the kingdom of God and to show the people who went to get food the power of God. I hope that they truly saw what God can do for them and that He is always with them and there to help them. It was an amazing experience and I recommend anyone who has the opportunity to go on a mission trip to do it. Mission trips really opened my, and everyone’s, eyes to how lucky we are. That we may at times go through hard times and struggles, but we are lucky to be where we are.

© Carter Ferguson. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.