DUBOIS – A combined group of adults and youth from Christ Lutheran Church, DuBois, experienced a new way of giving back during its 2023 mission trip to UNTO Global Logistics Center in Mt. Joy, Pa.
“We were looking for a new place to serve,” said Pastor Amy Godshall-Miller, who led the trip along with Pastor John Miller.
“John remembered serving there before. It was an opportunity to mix it up and do something different. We had fun buying into a wonderful organization.”
This mission trip was also unique because it included youth and adults. Previous mission trips were either one or the other.
“There were eight youth and one recent high school graduate on the trip,” said Godshall-Miller. “They had a grand time.”
Participating in the mission trip were: Payson Preston, Zaiden Preston, Emma Roy, Taylor Roy, Virginia Myers, Lily Philips, Kara Hanslovan, Molly Hanslovan, Gabby Horner, Emalee Horner, Deb Finalle, Ted Horner, Janet Peterson, Jim and Charmaine Dungey, Mike and Cindy Knobloch, Erin Hanslovan, and Christ Lutheran’s Pastors John and Amy Miller.
In addition to the volunteer efforts, a van load of donations from the congregation was taken along on the trip. “It was a wonderful showing of giving,” said Godshall-Miller.
UNTO, formerly Global Aid Network, is an international aid organization that packs care kits of all kinds at its Pennsylvania warehouse.
Hundreds of volunteers, including those from Christ Lutheran, packed drip irrigation to aid community farming, used and new clothing, shoes, quilts, luopads, school and medical supplies and more to send to areas throughout the world. Godshall-Miller explained that the humanitarian aid provided enables Christian witness to reach some of the toughest areas to reach on earth.
CRU, formerly Campus Crusade for Christ, follows-up on UNTO’s efforts with missionary work.
Christ Lutheran’s team spent two days working at the warehouse doing everything from packing boxes to operating a machine used to bail clothing. During lunch breaks they heard about UNTO’s ministry from a variety of speakers. They also had time to meet with UNTO volunteers and staff.
They stayed in cabins at the Refreshing Mountain Retreat Center, a Christian retreat center, near Ephrata. The facility included a swimming pool and some farm animals, both of interest to the youth.
“We wanted a place that would let us be a community and this was perfect,” said Godshall-Miller. “We used a central cabin to prepare our meals and hold our evening devotions.”
The devotion theme was “The Story of the Bible in Four Words”. The words are good, guilt, grief and gratitude, all intersecting with their efforts of service – giving back with gratitude.