Senior: Alexa Alcantar
Today was our last day of missions. If I’m being completely honest, I was extremely tired and drained from the past week and had set out to simply get through today. As we got set in and ready to go in our teams, I noticed that others had a similar mentality. I was thankful that my team was able to receive a relatively smooth task of picking up trash, and we paired up with another person in doing that. As my partner and I proceeded to do our task at hand, a sense of peace and comfort seemed to come over me. I didn’t go into the task with a bad attitude, more of a “just get it done” mindset. I didn’t expect to find as much joy and contentment as I did on this last day. I may have been exhausted from this week of missions, but God somehow knew just what I needed was to pick up some trash. As Philippians 4:9 says, “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” God sees our faith through our works and brings us peace in return. He saw that I was drained from all the works we were doing for His good, and He blessed not only me, but all of us for that. This week and the way it ended was such a blessing!
Junior: Matthew Valenzuela
So since this was my first year of missions, I really enjoyed being able to serve and help those around me. The opportunity for missions was very fun because I was able to work with those I was comfortable with as well as help those I did not know. The way that facilitators and the staff had set up the activities was very efficient because it allowed for me to be able to understand what was going on and help in any way I could. I enjoyed serving because I was able to help those even though I did not know their circumstances or what was going on with them because I feel called to be a servant. All in all, serving this year was a blessing, and I was happy that I was able to bless those around me.
Sophomore: Jaclyn Paul
Today was our final day of missions, and it was a bittersweet time for everyone involved. The entire school looks back on this week of serving with gratitude and joy, but I feel most people were sad to see it end. As the last day of the missions, we helped contribute to the beautification of the Crossroads campus. Some learners helped with the church food pantry, while others made a little journey to the elementary school to assist in cleaning their campus. Either clean-up role helped beautify the campuses and displayed our love for the community through our acts of service.
I had the opportunity to help wash the windows of the elementary school’s campus alongside some of the underclassmen. I loved this role because I saw little kids or teachers smile through the windows since we were showing care for their classroom environments. Cleaning the windows made me smile because it showed me how the tiniest acts of kindness could affect people or make a difference in their day, which I loved! After this, everyone traveled to the high school campus for a little rest and some lunch. Then to show our gratitude for the elementary & middle school teachers, we wrote cards with thoughtful messages for the staff members.
I believe this day of missions was especially memorable since each learner saw how their little acts of kindness could transform someone’s mood or day!
Freshman: Janelle Case
Today was our fourth day of missions and if I am being honest I was originally hoping to get on the Project Hope team where they packaged food and cleaned up the storage areas, but God had better plans for me and I ended up having a great time. My team was part of the campus beautification where we cleaned the upstairs and downstairs windows, picked up trash inside and outside the campus, and moved broken or unused items to where they needed to be. Even though the majority of the acts of service we did were small, I knew that together they would make a big difference for the staff and learners. I used to go to the elementary school and have been at Crossroads since kindergarten so it was an awesome opportunity to give back to the community that basically raised me. We stayed out there for four hours and later returned for lunch which was really good! After that, there were a few volunteers that went back to clean out the sandbox at the preschool and others that made sure that the items that were moved and thrown away earlier were sure to get picked up. Meanwhile, the remainder of us got supplies to make cards for the elementary staff. The freshmen were assigned to make cards for the classroom assistants. We didn’t know exactly who these cards were going to go to, but we didn’t let it take away from the goal of uplifting them and reminding them of their importance at the school.
Today might have been our last “official” day of going out and serving others for missions, but not our final opportunity. As a school, we serve each other in different ways and I like to think of this more of a learning experience that we can apply later. It’s given me a new perspective on helping, and taking initiative by starting tasks even when I am not told to do so even if that means leaving my comfort zone. I would still consider our fifth day as service just in a different way; allowing God to work through us and glorify him with our actions outside of the typical missions setting.
Facilitator: Mireya Lopez
As CCHS Missions Week 2023 comes to a close, it was beautiful that we got to serve on our very own campus. I got the pleasure of working at Project Hope here at Crossroads Church alongside church volunteers and our CCHS learners. Project Hope is a ministry that helps those who are struggling to keep food on their table by providing them with groceries and, in many cases, relationships. It was great seeing everyone serve in different areas, like packing bags of food, cleaning, and loading up the cars all while having a smile on their face and interacting with the other volunteers.
A lovely couple walked Ms. Zimmer and I through the process of packing up bags of food that are delivered to those who are unable to pick them up themselves. While talking with them, we found out that they have been serving in this ministry weekly for over 20 years. They have, in that time, moved away from Corona to Orange County to be closer to their family. Still, they continue to make the drive every Thursday morning because they love it so much and believe in this ministry’s positive impact on the community. Did I mention the man is 90 years of age!? It was inspiring to see their passion for Jesus and for helping others. Their light shines brightly and it was a beautiful reminder of the joy that comes in following in the footsteps of Jesus and serving others throughout our lives.