Aaron Crouch has spent two summers on our staff. As his second summer closes, we asked him to write some of his impressions of his time on staff, and of his experiences.
This is my second year of being the youth intern. It was awesome being able to return. It was a busy summer.
Memphis Work Camp is one of my favorite camps. I was a co-leader in charge about fifteen teenagers. I had fun getting to know everyone. The best part was that all of the teens were waking up extra early and paid to come serve. The house we were assigned needed a lot of work. We replaced part of the house and repainted it. We really got to know the home owner too. Seeing her thanking and praising God for what happened was moving. This is the reason I love Work Camp. Memphis Work Camp is something I would like to do every year if I could.
Uplift in terms of fun, is probably the best. It is an all day event for five days. There is so much to do. I got to know a lot of our youth better. One of my favorite parts of Uplift is just seeing our students just pour their hearts out to God. I like to think of myself as a tough guy, but its emotional seeing people lay it out for God.
The Ronald McDonald House was amazing. We brought all kinds of snacks and drinks. We also had “Duck Dynasty” playing. The group worked really hard serving the children’s families. There are so many kids who can’t catch a break. Being able to make them smile was the best feelings I’ve felt. That place is amazing. The families stay for free and have access to a kitchen. I think everyone should go at least once. It was a blessing. I pray for the families that are a part of that house.
The Fantastic Give Away was hard work. I want to thank everyone that helped me sign and collect the fans. We collected, as a church, about one hundred and eighty-five fans and gave all of them away. That is one hundred and eighty-five blessings. I hope giving to people in need becomes a routine without complaining or questioning. Jesus never asked, He just gave.
The second trip to the Ronald McDonald House was with a new group. We showed “Despicable Me” and served food. We had more families show up this time. this should be a regular event. The room we show the movies in is nice. They have a huge television but weak volume. God gave Kyle an idea. The idea was that he wants to collect enough money to buy and install a surround sound system. I ask for prayers towards the collection.
Kids Camp at Northside was great. I never knew what the people from North Carolina and Little Rock did when they came here. I found out this year. They build such strong relationships with the kids in our city. While I was over in that part of town I realized that I have not spent enough time there. It felt like a whole different city. We need to try and get more involved with our city. If churches from North Carolina can then we certainly can. We are here for a reason. Our city needs God. Kids Camp really opened my eyes. Pray for West Memphis.
The Children’s Home is always fun to go to. We went and worked hard all day. It was cool working to advance the kingdom of God. At one point we started to lose some motivation. Kyle told me to look up 1 Corinthians 15:58. It says, “So then, dear brothers and sisters, be firm. Do not be moved! Always be outstanding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” Stay outstanding in whatever work you do for The Lord.
The Huddles kick off was fantastic. We played some football and grilled out. This was sadly my last event for the summer. It was a good way to end. I am praying that God will bless students and the leaders who are attending.
Those big events really had an impact on me. There were a few other things that we did throughout the weeks that were what I call “weekly blessings.” We had a lot going on but they were some of the best times of the summer.
Flag Football was a fun event. We would play every Tuesday night until it was too dark to see. Besides the regulars, there were different kids every week. I never knew who would show up. It was a good way to bond with some of the youth that I did not know.
The life group at Kyle’s house on Sunday nights brought most of the youth group together, literally. We would show up and have some food and just get to know each other. Kyle would also sit us down and tell us what The Lord put on his heart. We heard what we needed to hear and I am very thankful for that. Sunday nights were a blessing to everyone.
Big City Studios was high energy. I would ask the review questions at the end about the lesson and it was rare for any of the kids to get a wrong answer. It was so cool to watch Mrs. Eran Strickland teach the kids. They love her. She had all kinds of games for them to play and taught them great lessons.The teenagers helped too. This was awesome because I got to see the older kids work with the younger kids. I saw some relationships begin to form. God moved through Big City Studios every week.
I am so thankful that God has placed me where I am today. I have a lot to take away from the summer. I hope this has given everyone a little taste of what goes on all summer. God bless.