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Indiana youth group gives homeless more than meal

LOUISVILLE, KY. — On a normal Monday night, you might find Becky Warren tutoring, performing with her high school band or hanging out with friends in rural Mitchell, Ind.
But once a month, the 15-year-old boards a van and rides 60 miles to sing, play games and do Bible-themed crafts with homeless and poor children in inner-city Louisville.
Warren and 16 other teens from her church participated in the River City Love Squad’s service for the homeless July 7. The Mitchell Church of Christ’s youth group makes the trek to Louisville on the first Monday of each month.
“It’s a good place for people that haven’t had a good life to go to,” Warren said.
River City Love Squad is a non-denominational homeless ministry that provides a worship service, a children’s class and a meal on Monday and Thursday night every week. The ministry, whose volunteers range from Pentecostals to Presbyterians, keeps all its supplies in a bright yellow trailer that almost serves as a sign of sorts to those who come.
It’s not your typical worship environment. On this 84-degree evening, the group met in a parking lot outside a distribution center. A few people stood toward the back smoking cigarettes and watching the service rather than participating. Occasionally a car would drive by blasting music out the window, or someone would get up and inquire whether it was time to eat.
But most seemed to enjoy the sense of community and the opportunity to offer praise and worship. As crackers and miniature cups of grape juice were passed out, most people accepted them and listened intently as a speaker explained the concept of communion.
Meghan Hill, the Mitchell church’s intern from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., works with another homeless ministry in Nashville.
“Its cool to see the different ways people do ministry,” Hill, 21, said as she helped young girls color book bags.
The Mitchell teens coordinate and teach the children’s class, and also help serve the evening meal. The boys pass communion trays and lead a cappella singing.
Elizabeth Young, 17, said she likes helping the children learn about God.
“I want to be an example,” she said.

  • Feedback
    Nice job, Brady. It looks like you could have a good career in the family business.
    July, 13 2008

Filed under: National Staff Reports

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