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Cedar Creek Mission Trip 2023

At FPC Newton, we believe in empowering our youth to make a difference in the world. June 18-23, 2023 our youth travelled to Cedar Creek, Tennessee. The trip was not only an opportunity for service but also a chance for our youth to experience personal growth, deepen their faith, and develop lasting relationships.

Cedar Creek for our church family has truly become holy ground. Cedar Creek Presbyterian Church pastors, Harrell and Marci Cobb are truly family. We have been traveling up to visit for 15 years now.

Throughout our stay in Cedar Creek, our youth helped a local resident, Ms. Dora to help paint her house. Through the hit and miss rain storms we were able to almost finish the entire house and two outbuildings. Through shared experiences, laughter, and challenges, we formed a tight-knit group. Friendships were strengthened as we navigated through the project together. The relationships built during the trip will continue to impact our youth long after we returned home.

The mission trip to Cedar Creek was not only about helping others but also about personal growth. They learned valuable life lessons, such as the importance of stepping out of their comfort zones, working as a team, and being intentional in their acts of love and service. And it was nice to see their painting skills improve as the week went on. Our group worked really hard, but we also played hard, and ate really good. One of the selling points of Cedar Creek is the food. And per usual the food did not disappoint. We were also able to get in a movie one night, swimming at Paint Creek Recreation Area, tie dyed our team shirts, and played tons of games together.

The youth mission trip to Cedar Creek, Tennessee, was a transformative experience that allowed our youth to grow spiritually, serve selflessly, and build lifelong relationships. We are incredibly proud of our youth and grateful for the support and guidance of our church family. As we reflect on our time in Cedar Creek, we are reminded of the power of youth-led initiatives and the incredible potential within each young heart. Together, we are shaping the future, one mission trip at a time. It is truly wonderful to see how their experiences in Cedar Creek shape their future endeavors and their commitment to following Christ's example.

Here some thoughts shared by our mission team:

James Philhower:

He liked being able to help Ms. Dora, and feeling like she needed HIS help. Even as a young person, he was able to giver her help, that meant a lot. He also enjoyed swimming at Paint Creek.

Julian Jefferson:

Julian loved the landscape, mountains, and the environment was his favorite part of the trip.

Jay Stinson:

She loved being able to help others and meet new friends.

Cruz Stinson:

He loved helping Ms. Dora with her house and the Fruity Pebbles Crisps.

Sarah Butterfield:

Her favorite part of Cedar Creek is seeing old friends and meeting new people, but also have people back home supporting us as always.

Ray Rhinehart:

I went on my first mission trip 30 years ago. Mission trips are one of the best ways to get to know your church family. On this trip he was able to get to know 5 of our youth that he did not previously know well before. He is happy to report that we have wonderful youth. He was great to see Sarah and Julian learn how to use a circular saw and kept their fingers. To see Cruz and James' painting skills improve as the week went on. And to Jay who's willingness to always pray could put some of us adults to shame. We also got to know Ms. Dora who's house shines with a new coat of paint. He wants to thank our church family for their support. Special thanks to our trip paterons and the angel whose financial contribution allowed our group to have a great movie night. Ray encourages anyone that has never been to Cedar Creek to go next year. They won't be disappointed.

Margy Butterfield:

Cedar Creek feels like home. From the moment you step foot there you are welcomed like long lost relatives.

Laura Sparks:

For those who have been to Cedar Creek know that it is truly Holy ground. During this tirp we had the opportunity to put our faith in action. We provide more than just a fresh paint job on a house. We provided much needed companionship to a widow, we gave her an opportunity to love and service us by her daily popscicle breaks, and we saw a group of individual youth become church family. This was my fifth year taking our group to Cedar Creek. And this has to be one of my favorites yet. Some of my favorite moments on this trip were:

1-Spending time with my dad doing God's work.

2- The pure joy of Cruz's laughter as he paint rolled my arm or leg for the 4th or 5th time every day.

3- To wathcing Jay be so independent and responsible everyday. She was usually the first to be ready and she loves to pray over our meals. She truly prays from the heart.

4- To Julian's quiet strength and work ethic and his willingness to make sure everyone was included.

5- Watching Sarah take the leadership role as our Cedar Creek veteran. I remember her first trip and it has been such a joy and honor to see her take the lead.

6- To seeing James grow up in a matter of days on this trip. And his ability to turn into crazy cackling gremlin at 8pm every night.

7- As an adult getting to have a sleepover with one of my best friends and stay up giggling and talking like teenage girls every night.

8-To getting to visit and spend time with Harrell and Marci Cobb who are now considered family. They are grandparents to our youth, our very own Maymo and Paypo of Cedar Creek.

We are looking forward to heading back up to Cedar Creek on June 16-21, 2023! Come and join us for another amazing experience!

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