Youth Forward scholarship summer 2016 – Restoring Beauty Within Our Nation

Name: Hannah Bauer
From: Littleton, Colorado
Grade: High School Senior
School: Rock Canyon High School
Votes: 0


School Senior ‘17

Beauty Within Our Nation

Not every student is given the opportunity to change the image of our
world’s future just by the touch of their hands. As many factors
come into play hindering one’s ability to branch outside of their
own community. Yet, with this being so, I find myself to be
incredibly lucky to have had a youth pastor willing to embark on this
journey of restoring our nature’s beauty along side me.

Over the past three years, I have been grateful enough to have traveled to Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas on mission trips, helping with tornado, flood and disaster relief organizations. The group of 40 youth,
including myself, spent ten days each trip, in hope of repairing many
lives, homes, and communities. Six of those days would be eight hours
of non-stop labor, working towards bettering the lives of others. The
reconstruction ranged from building sheds, fences, and garage lots,
to planting flowers, making meals, and meeting the families who had
lost nearly everything. Coming from a city full of life back in
Colorado, watching those who suffered around us was gut wrenching. We never understood how fortunate we were, before witnessing the horror these families experienced.

Towards the end of every trip, my friends and I prepared home cooked meals, to everyone and anyone willing to join, that were affected by these tragedies. From my perspective, these nights were the ones that made the missions worth it in the first place. I have never met such kind
hearted, free spirited, and grateful people in my entire life. Since
my group slept in each town’s local church for the entirety of the
trips, we got the chance to meet the congregations that included
these affected individuals. Still to this day, I will always cherish
the young man in Joplin, Missouri that told me, “there was no life
and light in our sanctuary until your young hearts came and revived
our hope in Christ Our Savior.” Nothing has warmed my heart the way
our work has in these shattered communities.

Being given the gift of transforming neighborhoods and recalling the light in Christ, will forever humble me and keep me grateful for all that I
have. It was undoubtedly difficult to leave these broken homes, as we
held their hands in their time of need. Yet knowing we revitalized
their societies, will always be the greatest blessing of them all.
Consequently, these mission trips taught me more about myself and the
world around me, than I could have ever imagined. Supporting the
cultures surrounding us, brought nothing but smiles to my face and
happiness to my heart, as everyday is a blessing and every chance to
help out is one too.

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