His Travelers Enjoy Summer to Remember

August 27, 2015 | Tamara Michalenko Terry

Praising God for head lice is not something one would expect, but Andrea Anderson, Upper Columbia Conference His Travelers team leader, did just that this summer while serving with her team, Kisa McClosky and Polly Officer.

“Three of the children who attended regularly came due to a head lice outbreak at the community program they normally attended,” Anderson explains. “They had never heard the story of Moses or even knew about the Bible.”

“My most memorable experience happened at the same place,” McClosky adds. “While saying goodbye, the little ones begged us to ride with them back to their homes. The trip was well worth it. We sang, we talked, we laughed, and we even drew pictures until it was time to drop them off. Before they departed, almost every child gave each one of us a huge hug of thanks. We left that day knowing that we had experienced a miracle.”

“It is stories like these that confirm the importance of His Travelers,” states Patty Marsh, Upper Columbia Conference (UCC) children’s ministries director. His Travelers began with a simple request from a wonderfully organized local church leader: “Do you have a team of young people who could bring life and energy to our VBS? As I get older, it’s harder for me to lead the music, play the running games, act in the skits — we need young people to assist us.” In answer to this plea, the first His Travelers team began assisting seven smaller to midsize churches in the summer of 2010 with children’s programming and community outreach. Since that time, more than 35 young people making up 14 teams have ministered in a variety of UCC churches for a total of 86 weeks.

God has definitely helped them through a variety of situations, even bringing a puff a wind, an answer to prayer, to dislodge a rocket caught in power wires. As is common in life, things happen. Thankfully the Lord has gifted this team to overcome obstacles while giving Him all the glory.

In addition to helping churches with their children’s programming, the team assists with community service projects. From sanding and painting tables in the community park to helping at the humane center, the His Travelers team is there to help connect the church with the community in a positive way. Previous His Travelers team member Joy Naka recalls her time in 2012 when her team painted a bakery. “It was loads of fun," she says.

When asked her favorite part up to that point in the summer, Officer said, “When we helped out at the humane society.” She enjoyed walking their dogs and having fun with their cats. “I also really loved making balloon animals and going door to door handing them out with invitations. Everyone was open to listening when we had a friendly little balloon dog in our hand. Even the adults wanted one," she explains.

Moments of witness aren’t always planned though. When the team visited neighborhoods inviting children to Vacation Bible School, they met Pat. Even though she didn’t have any kids, she did have a garden that needed attention, so the team arranged a time to come back and weed. “When we were done, the smile on Pat's face was bright enough to light up the sky,” Anderson recalls. “After a bite of watermelon and zucchini bread that she graciously offered us, we left her home thanking God for the unique experience.”

Visit the His Travelers Facebook page for more stories and pictures from their summer ministry.