Every summer USC does community outreach at Bryant Manor, a local apartment complex just up the street from USC. Several years ago, with help from Morningside Community Church, a partner church from South Dakota, we installed two basketball goals, tetherball poles and bar-b-q grills. During the outreaches we play organized games, read and give away hundreds of books, and share a meal with the families.
Often, area churches partner with us at these events; preparing the meal and helping to lead the activities, however, a couple of weeks ago we realized that we were not going have enough ministry partners – We were in need of more volunteers and that request was answered by teachers from our local school, Mark Twain Elementary. Even though it is summer and school is closed, Mr. Pumphrey and Mrs. Hovorka volunteered to read to students during our outreach. It was a joy for USC students to reconnect with their teachers, and it was a blessing for them to see their teachers come to the Bryant apartment complex.
Even though USC’s regular programs have taken a break for the summer, our community impact has not slowed down. At our outreach events we serve 80 students and their families with the help of dozens of volunteers from Servant Community Church, Lawrence Wesleyan Church, Leawood Presbyterian Church, Olathe Bible Church, Westside Family Church, Open Door Baptist Church and many other church partners. In addition to our community outreaches, nearly 40 USC students attended Music, Arts & Drama Camp, God’s Mountain Camp, or Kids Across America Camp this summer.
Although our main focus is to impact our local community, our reach goes beyond the borders of our city. Friday, July 19, USC high school and college students are boarding a plane to serve at PROEM Ministries in Poland, for 3 weeks. Urban “missionaries” in foreign countries will no longer be “foreign” for USC students. This will be the first time most of these students have been out of the country so please keep them in your prayers as they serve on this international mission trip.
God is using our students and volunteers this summer, not only in our community, but throughout the world. Thank you for journeying with us as we develop socially responsible leaders.
Scripture Reflection: Go Make Disciples – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8 (NIV)