Why Local Missions? – “Going to Samaria”

This is a sermon I gave at Lord’s Grace Community Church in Mountain View on the call to local missions. I have been meaning to share it with you all for some time. Enjoy!

Shannon Pekary, Executive Director, speaks at Lord’s Grace Community Church in October, 2012

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A safe place to grow up

We published a video a couple weeks ago that showed some younger students playing sports during recess as a result of the organization and leadership of some of our high school students. (Link to our video)

Little over a month ago, an article was published in the Mercury News reporting on the film submission of 14 youth from East Palo Alto to Cinequest’s “Picture the Possibilities” project (Link to Mercury News article). The project included submissions from youth from all over the world, from “Beijing to Mexico City to New York” and the article describes how the documentary made by the youth from East Palo Alto “struck the most powerful chord” by showing youth talking about violence in their neighborhood and their simple desire for a safe place to skateboard. You can watch the video below:

In more than a couple ways, the video above with its discussion of the effect of violence on youth, stands in a stark contrast to our own which shows kids playing sports and having fun. For us at RYAA the disconnection highlights the need for what we do: providing safe, positive and healthy activities for youth while walking alongside them in whatever situation they find themselves in. The children and youth of East Palo Alto deserve safe and constructive environments that equip them to be tomorrow’s leaders.

Sports During Recess Help Students During Testing

Sometimes it is easy to doubt what kind of impact we are having on somebody’s life.  But I know that God will use every seed sown to reap some good fruit for His kingdom.  A couple of weeks ago we posted comments from Cesar Chavez Academy Principal Amika Maria Maran Guillaume.  She spoke of how great it was to see the youth being raised up as leaders in their community.

One great example is Dana, who you can see in the picture is doing a great job as a leader/big brother/coach.  Two other pictures show our children having a great time playing flag football and having a race!  We give thanks to God for what He is doing in our community both in and through our youth.  We also pray God will raise up more leaders so that programs like these can grow and expand to serve more youth.