Lafayette United Methodist Church’s Youth and advisors met at daybreak on Saturday, September 13 to journey to Pulaski, Tennessee.
They joined over 90 other youth and adults for an event called Hands and Feet. Pulaski was one of three sites in the middle Tennessee area chosen to Host the Hands and Feet Event by the Young People’s Ministry of the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church. Brad Fiscus, TN Conference Director for Youth Ministry organizes this yearly event. This year the youth and advisors divided up into mission teams and travel to eight mission sites in the host church area to serve others in need by being the hands and feet of Christ.
In her book Almost Christian, Kenda Creasy-Dean presents key factors that help young people develop a faith that they can rely on in making daily decisions. Serving is one of those key factors. The Hands and Feet Events provide youth of the Tennessee Conference opportunities to develop their faith through serving others. Hands and Feet Youth put their faith in action through landscaping, gutter cleaning, painting, handrail construction, or working in food pantries.
Another crucial element of Hands and Feet is a moving worship service at the end of the work day. Brad Fiscus, who leads that service, acknowledges God’s yearning for youth mission work. He stated, “We are charged as disciples of Jesus Christ to transform the world, but in order for this to happen, we must first be willing to be transformed ourselves. Through seeing God work in the lives of students during Hands and Feet, it’s evident that God is doing a powerful thing among us.” Another stirring highlight of the closing worship service was when the youth were given an opportunity to share how they personally saw God at work in their team and how the community responded.
The team from Lafayette Tennessee included Hunter Bolton, Kaylee Collins, Lora Darnell, Nicholas Dillehay, Charlie Hooper, Erin Smoczynski, Mrs. Tiffany Dillehay and Rev. John Arnold. This team joined former Lafayette UMC pastor Rev. Nolen Brunson and youth Trent Payne, Site Team Leader and Graduating Senior from Martin Methodist College, Norn Nelson. The Lafayette Youth Team was sent to the home of Mrs. Vivian Nelson. There they raked leaves, trimmed trees and bushes, mulched and did landscaping work and some minor construction to her home. After the team completed the work, they had a time of prayer with Mrs. Nelson where she said that she was amazed that a group of youth all the way from Lafayette Tennessee would get up so early in the morning and come so far, just to help her and show the love of Christ.
The youth and adults from Lafayette UMC returned from Hands and Feet tired and worn out but strengthened in their faith, knowing that they made a difference in the life of another person by being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.
Picture is the Lafayette UMC Hands and Feet Mission Team
Front Row L-R: Mrs. Tiffany Dillehay, Charlie Hooper, Nicholas Dillehay, recipient Vivian Nelson, Kaylee Collins, Lora Darnell, Erin Smoczynski
Back Row L-R: Hunter Bolton, Trent Payne, Norn Nelson, Rev. John Arnold