The following is a short article I wrote for New Germany Connections, following last summer’s Tidal Impact program…
Every 2 years, Baptist youth groups from across Atlantic Canada descend on a chosen region, ready to serve and to learn. This year they came Halifax, Lunenburg, and Queens counties.
Our two little churches (Barss Corner Baptist and Emmanuel Baptist of Parkdale-Maplewood) were matched up with the youth groups from Grace Memorial Baptist Church and Greenwood Drive Baptist Church of Fredericton, and also from Woodstock Baptist Church. In total, 41 youth and leaders blessed us from July 22-29.
These youth crowded into talks, rallies, and fun events with a couple hundred others at Bridgewater Baptist Church and Long Lake Camp. They got challenged to know Jesus and to walk more deeply with him.
They slept in local homes. People in our churches jumped at the opportunity to host them. One man said to me at the end of the week, “It was so nice, it was like having family in my house again.”
Mornings and afternoons, the youth worked hard. They spent time with the residents at Rosedale Home and Lohnes Rest Home; they painted the end of a house; they processed about 12 cords of firewood; they wed gardens; they moved hay; they forked manure; they picked up garbage; they scrubbed things at the elementary school; they mowed lawns; they collected food for the NG food bank, etc. (And they found time to swim in two lakes and one ocean.)
All of that is hard work. I expected to hear complaining. I didn’t.
Except once, it came close. A girl named Taylor had spent the morning weeding a lady’s garden. She came back to the hall tired. She approached me. She sighed. I thought, “Here it comes.” She said, “Sam, can we please go back there tomorrow? That is such hard work, and ___ is elderly and shouldn’t have to do it all herself.”
And then there was the time when two girls didn’t do what they were told. They had spent a morning forking manure out of a chicken coop. Their host family told them, “Tomorrow, if someone asks you to fork manure again, just say no.” But then next day when we asked for volunteers to clean out a sheep barn, those two girls put their hands up. You see, young people just don’t do what they’re told. Ha!