The West Hills Community church team (from Morgan Hills, CA), college, high school students, and our adult’s pastor and family, went to Mt. Olive, Mississippi on June 5-12 to serve the people of that community. Our host was Tony C. Duckworth, pastor of Mt. Olive Community Church and Founder of Mt. Olive Ministries (MOM), a Christian tutoring program. We taught a summer tutoring program and did Vacation Bible School for a week.
During the mornings, our team helped Mrs. Shannon Duckworth in the tutoring program were about 82 children from ages 5-14 attended each day. We studied subjects such as Math, English, and Science, helped the children interact and learn hands-on through worksheets and experiments. None of us were teachers by occupation, but we enjoyed the challenge of preparing, teaching, and interacting with the kids.
After tutoring we would head over to the community school and host a Vacation Bible School. After a group Bible lesson, we would break up into smaller age groups and rotate through games, crafts and snacks. The highlight for most of the kids as well as our team was when we learned new songs together. Many of the songs had hand motions, so by the end of the week everyone knew them through and through. It was usually the most energetic time of the day!
In the evenings our team was blessed by the generous hospitality shown us by Pastor Tony and countless other people from the church and community. We felt welcomed everywhere we went, and always left completely stuffed after a meal! Catfish, steak sandwiches and red velvet cake quickly became some of our new favorite foods! At the end of the trip it was so hard to leave our new friends and return to California. Our week in Mississippi was such a blessing because we learned to be the hands and feet of Jesus, we were able to extend the love of Christ and receive it as well.