Kansas teens use break for service, love

Kansas teens use break for service, love

Watching youth group members play in the parking lot of Pittsburg Middle School, you would not have guessed they slept on the hardwood floor of the Pittsburg High School gymnasium. Or that they gave part of their spring break to community service.

“Basically we want to come in and saturate this town and community and bless this community and help accomplish projects that need to be accomplished that maybe due to budget reasons or funding reasons, will not be able to be accomplished. So we bring the manpower and we just want to love on our community,” FLAG church of Pittsburg’s youth and outreach pastor, Anthony Navaratnam said.

They call their mission “Saturate 2016” and its made up of 300 teens and youth leaders assisting in projects in southeast Kansas and beyond. The youth come from the 140 Family Life Assembly of God churches in Kansas, with Pittsburg’s FLAG church playing host. Friday, a group cleaned up the basement of Pittsburg middle school which included finding dust-covered grading ledgers from the 1930s.

“We have them cleaning out some old rooms that were just full of old stuff. So we’re just hauling stuff out, putting it in dumpsters, and trying to clean out some areas in the old school,” USD 250 superintendent Destry Brown said, “the old school that we don’t use has become kind of a dumping ground.”

Brown noted it was nice to have “young legs” carrying things up and down the stairs for many trips.

“God called us out there to preach and teach and serve so that’s what we’re trying to do,” Dolan Enloe of Andover said.

Navaratnam said teens were serving all the way from Fredonia to Joplin and most places in-between.

“It just spreads God’s love through our actions while we’re working, so the community knows we’re in the church, part of the church,” Justus Stroud of Wichita said.

Navaratnam was blown away by the teen’s willingness to pay a $60 fee, sleep on a hard surface and give up part of their Spring Break in order to help others.

“We are trying to be God’s hands and feet and loving on them and showing them Christ’s love in a practical way,” Navaratnam said.

The youth will pick up tomorrow with assisting in the Pittsburg Parks and Rec’s Easter egg hunt as well as picking up trash along Hwy 69.