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August 2014 News

Teens serve the Lockyer Valley Community

  • Written by  Ian Anderson
A group of boys from TeenStreet working hard during ‘Hands and Feet’ . Photo: Dean Sandham

Last month, an army of teenagers invaded towns all over the Lockyer Valley with one goal in mind: to serve.

Teens were sitting with residents in nursing homes in Gatton, cleaning backyards and homes in Toowoomba, and clearing out chook pens on a farm in Churchable.

It was all part of an initiative called ‘Hands and Feet’, an afternoon program of a week-long discipleship camp for high-schoolers called TeenStreet.

“Hand’s and Feet is about putting all we have learnt over the last fours days into practice and blessing the community,” said one female teen.

“We’ve only just been cleaning, like basic things,” said another female teen who helped clean Barbara McKay’s home in Churchable. “But you never know what God can use from what you do. If you are willing to do these small things, imagine what God could get you to do with even bigger things.”

Barbara was especially thankful to the team who worked tirelessly at her farm, cleaning her home, picking up branches from their fruit orchid, clearing the chicken pen, and fertilising the fruit trees.

“My husband is currently in hospital after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, and earlier this year our shed burnt down, so we have really been hit by a double whammy,” said Barbara, who has recently retired along with her husband from a life of ministry.

“We really appreciate the young people being the hands and feet of Jesus, because we’ve spent a lifetime ourselves of helping other people in full-time ministry, and it’s wonderful to have people do things for us.”

450 teens and their leaders attended TeenStreet, run by international mission organisation Operation Mobilisation, at the University of Queensland Gatton campus during the July school holidays.

“There is an amazing unity and community built throughout the week, with teens and leaders from over 100 different churches, which is a really precious thing,” said camp director Andrew Carnell.

“Above all, it’s amazing to see the Spirit of God moving in the hearts and lives of the young people, setting them free from guilt and shame and giving them hope.” he said.

“I came to Teenstreet as someone who was really burdened with the world,” said one female Teen. “I’ve learnt that I don’t actually have to carry those burdens because God can do that for me. He has saved me from them.”

“The success of TeenStreet is not whether we can run an event for a week,” said Andrew, “but it’s really seen in what happens after the week.”

“In the few short days following TeenStreet, we heard testimonies of how young people have called their church to prayer, and how they are reaching out to their friends back at home.”

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