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Day 4

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.

Day 3

Junior: Ewan McGowan

Today was our third day of missions, and oh boy was it amazing! We started the day off by separating into 4 different groups which we would have kindergarteners rotate between. The groups were Games, Snack, Crafts, and Story & Worship. I was in the snacks team, and it was super fun to see all the happy kindergarten kids! They came and sat down with us, and we provided them with some snacks and some tools to color with. It was fun to talk with the kids and see what type of things they were into. After the kids completed all their rotations, we cleaned up and got ready for Encore. After we set up, we sat down with some of the senior citizens and talked to them about life. It was super cool to be blessed with some knowledge and I learned a lot from the people at my table. Did you know that the pressure at sea level is 14.7 PSIA? I really enjoyed what we did today and learning about the lives of both the young and young at heart. I am truly blessed to be at this school and partake in these acts of serving!

Sophomore: Echo Edwards

This was our third day of missions and it was certainly entertaining from start to finish. We started our morning with the best way possible, with little balls of energy running through the high school. We were running a VBS for them with four stations: craft, games, snack, and story and song. I was in the craft section and we decided we’d make little kits to represent the story of Jesus and Peter walking on water with tissue paper and little puppets through paper plates. I worked with some amazing little kids with Kat and as they got more used to us we did to them as well! By the “end” of the morning VBS all of the little kids were hyper beyond belief, (probably because of the games team honestly.) I thought every team did well though in order to bring out the little smiles. 

Around an hour later, it was our turn to serve Encore Ministry which is for our senior citizens. They really enjoyed it, I think. We got to talk to the legend Emmet, who’s been here awhile, but was so cool and wanted to share with us about his music.  We had 8 learners share what they’ve enjoyed through this week so far and they seemed to enjoy listening to us as much as we loved listening to them. We had a lasagna lunch together and then we all tore down for tomorrow. It was such a good day from working with the littlest people to the people who have lived through the world already. I was so honored to serve the different generations and I can’t wait to do more tomorrow!

Sophomore: Emmie Lembke 


Today was day 3 of missions and we did VBS with the kindergarten classes and then we worshiped and had lunch with the Encore group. 

During VBS we had four rotations which included snacks, crafts, games, and story/song. I helped lead the games team and we played fun things like freeze tag, duck duck goose, and we even had a potato sack race that all of the kids loved. I got the chance to talk to a few of the kids and they all said they loved to pop the bubbles from the bubble guns we had. I’m really proud of those who stepped out of their comfort zone and worked with little kids for the first time. I was also really impressed by how everyone was super engaged and genuinely enjoying the time with the little ones. It was nice to see the kindergartners leaving with such great smiles.


Once the littles went on their way, we set up for the Encore group. I got the chance to meet with a few of the members and someone who really stuck out to me was Jim. He shared many valuable stories with me. He asked me what I want to do after college and I responded that I want to become an attorney. He told me many stories about lawyers he knows and all of his experiences with people who are in the criminal justice system. I had a wonderful time talking to someone so knowledgeable. I truly learned a lot in just a short amount of time.

The biggest takeaway from this week so far for me is that even though we’re the ones who are serving, it’s important to serve with your heart open because you never know when the person you’re serving might turn around and pour back into you.

Freshman: Lucy Moons


Today was really eventful and inspiring! I was a part of the story/song group for the kindergarten VBS. I got to act out a skit, lead out worship, and jump around with all of the kiddos. The kids were a little nervous to get silly, but by the end, they got out of their comfort zone and got really into it. I realized that being energetic throughout the rotations was challenging, but it was all worth it when the kindergarteners would smile. Encore was a really special experience as well! I had the opportunity to lead worship with several of my friends and spent time chatting with the Encore members. It was so refreshing to hear about their travels, relationships, and hobbies throughout their lives. My friends and I talked to several wonderful people. We talked to one lady named Janell who was a tennis player for thirty years and was also a swing dancer! I loved that we were able to openly share with each other. It was lovely to see the Encore members so passionate to give us advice and ask us questions as well! Overall, day three of missions has been a blast and is definitely a memorable experience!

Facilitator: Taylor Zimmer 


Today, we had the opportunity to serve our own school by doing a miniature VBS for the kindergarteners. We set up four rotations for each of the classes to attend which included games, snacks, craft, song, and story. For the VBS rotations, I was one of the facilitators that led out in the game’s rotation. High schoolers were able to play several different games with the kids such as red-light green-light, Solomon says, potato sack races, freeze tag, and duck, duck, goose. I have to say that I think the high schoolers had just as much fun playing the games as the kindergarteners.

There were so many highlights from today’s missions, however there are two that come specifically to mind. The first highlight would be watching the kindergarteners and high schoolers pop and play with the bubbles from the bubble guns. The second highlight was during our last rotation with the kindergarteners. Our last game was red light green light, and the kids got so excited during the last round that they tackled Roger to the ground to win the game.

Day 2

Junior: Brennan Gove

This was our second day of missions and although we didn’t necessarily go anywhere different we were still able to make an impact. For today’s task, we worked with Together We Rise, which is an organization that specializes in taking care of and providing for foster children. We were able to put together some fun gifts and items for foster kids to bring with them wherever they go. The first thing we made was a bag full of fun toys and necessities such as a toothbrush kit and a teddy bear for the child that receives it. We made some drawings to put on the bags and prayed over them as they were completed. We then made two different gift boxes for the kids, a birthday box, and a super hero box. These will be given to foster kids on their birthday, I thought this was really cool because it might be the only gift they get. The boxes included birthday cards, a pillow case, and other fun toys for the kids. Overall, the experience was great and knowing that we can bless these kids in this way makes me very happy.

Sophomore: Sienna Thomas

Today, we got the honor of working with Together We Rise to make bags and boxes for foster children! We got to make bags that they can take with them when they are moved and birthday boxes to make their birthdays a bit more special. Making the birthday boxes, especially, were very fun and exciting to make. Imagining the looks on those kids faces when they open up a gift that they would not have gotten otherwise made it that much more enjoyable. We got to pray over the boxes and wish them luck on their journey to the kids. We are so blessed to be a blessing.

Freshman: Josiah Llamas 

While we might not have been able to see the receiver of our gifts, I believe that the children that receive our gift will be blessed due to the kindness that was shown. We partnered with Together We Rise, in which they were able to provide us with the necessary materials to build our boxes. We started with the bag that consisted of crayons and a coloring book, toiletries, a blanket, and a teddy bear that we prayed over. We were able to personalize our bag by using oil pastels to decorate the bag to make it special and unique. Once that was finished, we started on the 2 boxes: the birthday and the superhero box. Building the birthday box made me excited for the child that would be able to celebrate his/her birthday with a special gift. With the superhero box, I could imagine the smiles on the child’s face as they pretend to be a superhero. Like the bag, we had a dedication by praying over the boxes. I feel blessed to be called over to help serve today, and while I might not be able to see the people we will give the boxes to, I know, deep down in my heart, that it will have a huge impact on their lives.

Freshman: Tali Rizkallah

Today for Missions Week, we worked with Together We Rise to make things for foster kids! 

First, we made Sweet Cases. Sweet Cases are duffle bags filled with things a foster kid might need. It includes a blanket, coloring book, crayons, hygiene kit, and a teddy bear! We colored a piece of fabric that went onto the side of the duffle bag. Once everyone was finished, we prayed over the teddy bear and the bags as a whole.

Then, we made Birthday Boxes. These boxes were filled with decorations and small gifts, like a pin. We decorated the outside of the box, then we colored some banners. We also wrote a birthday card that comes with a gift card!

Last, we made Superhero Boxes. They’re the same as the Birthday Boxes, except superhero-themed and a few different things. We colored and decorated the outside of the box, then filled it.

The Sweet Cases will be given to the kids as soon as possible, and the Birthday & Superhero Boxes will be given to a kid on their birthday.

Today was a great Day 2 of Missions Week!

Facilitator: Ryan Blalock 

After working hard outside yesterday, it was a little bit of a change as we shifted gears to take some time to assemble and decorate packages as we partnered with an organization called Together We Rise, which helps support kids that are in foster care transition stages. As I prayed in the day and Mr. Fanelli led us in a morning devotion, we were both impressed to lead the learners to be mindful in their hearts that we are doing ministry for someone we probably won’t get to meet. But that’s in God’s hands, right!?  Of course. We know that the Spirit is at work when we serve and take care of each other.  As the kids worked diligently to assemble, decorate, and pray for each box- it was meaningful to think that God’s power and love will be traveling with these items. Learners even gave the teddy bears huge hugs as they packed them.  Serving and working alongside our learners brings me even more confidence in the GOODNESS of the Lord… AND it brought me great JOY to deliver these super hot pizzas to some hungry kids!


Day 1

Senior: Roger Garcia

Today was our first day of local missions and it was a blast. We started our day arriving to school and hopping on the buses to head to the Dream Center in Lake Elsinore to help a lady named Carrie clean up her yard and make it look nice and fancy. As soon as we arrived, we didn’t waste any time and started gathering supplies and moving things out towards Carrie’s front yard. After we got all the tools and supplies, we needed we started working on the house. I took care of this big tree in her front yard and helped trim it down and shape it up to look presentable. After, I helped pull some weeds along the side of the house and made it look nice and tidy with the help of a couple other learners.

I would say my favorite part of my experience on this trip was being able to work with my fellow peers and making Carrie’s yard look clean. I had a lot of amazing conversations and a lot of fun laughs with them. God was definitely present and was a big part of the impact we made on Carrie’s life. It really amazes me how there are so many different ways you can glorify God. Overall, today was a day where we all got our hands dirty but it was worth it, especially after seeing how much Carrie loved the work we did and seeing a big smile on her face.

Junior: Jacob Faldas

Today, we kicked off our local missions week at the Lake Elsinore Dream Center. We had the opportunity to clean the yard of this woman who wasn’t able to maintain her yard, and over time it really started to pile up. Right when we arrived, we got straight to work. We were split into different teams, so that we could work more efficiently. The team that I was on was responsible for the front yard. We trimmed branches of the bushes, raked and discarded leaves, and even harvested some  lemons that the homeowner had trouble getting herself. Throughout the entirety of the process, every single learner was engaged and it was such a great thing to see! Everybody had smiles on their faces and enjoyed being there. For me, it felt amazing knowing that I was able to bless somebody and it pushed me to get out of my comfort zone. At the end, the homeowner loved the result of her yard and it looked so good! We ended the day with a picture in front of the house, and loaded up the buses to head back to the school. It was an amazing first day of missions and really set the tone for what is to come this week!

Sophomore: Autumn Bell

Local missions week started off with a great service project. We began the day by being loaded into buses and bused down to Lake Elsinore. Once we arrived everyone quickly got to work pulling weeds, cutting trees, and loading up trailers. Everyone came with an attitude of serving and readiness. People were working together to accomplish many big tasks and were able to overcome them together. By the end of the day we had filled two big trailers with a ton of weeds and tree clippings. It was delightful to see how grateful the homeowner was for all of the learners who were serving. Towards the end of our time there we saw the elderly neighbors next door to the house we were working at pulling their own weeds, so we took the opportunity to go and help them too. As we were leaving we had a moment to pray over the home and the people we had served throughout the day. It was a beautiful day to go out and serve the Lord through serving others.

Freshman: Tegan Smith

Today I saw many blessings. This morning I got on the bus not knowing where I was going. I decided not to look at the itinerary because I wanted to be open to serve wherever I was needed and not get fixated on anything else but what I was there to do. When we got to the house and church, I ended up going with a group of people pulling weeds and I was all for it. After about two hours I started getting bored and tired, sadly. That feeling was opposite than I had planned for and it kind of threw me off. I was talking with one of the ladies that was there serving with us and she shared how it is a surprise blessing for an older lady who can’t keep up with her yard anymore. She mentioned how we were a blessing sent from God and that the lady had been praying for something like this to happen for her. That really touched me and I realized, that it is actually a good thing that today wasn’t what I had thought of, because God had a plan for it to be even better, I just had to be open and listen to him through the people and place around me. I immediately changed how I felt and thought about it the entire time. I just reminded myself every time I felt unmotivated or unhelpful that I am doing everything this week to glorify God and show his greatness through anything I shall do even if it’s through pulling weeds, he will be glorified. I was reminded of the verse Mathew 20:28, it says “ For even the son of Man came not to be served but to serve others…”. This verse is a great reminder of what missions week is all about and I hope that we can all implement this as we serve the Lord together through anything we do.

Facilitator: Ms. Aguirre

Today was the first day of Local Missions and it has already been a blessing to those we are serving, those we are serving with and for us. We arrived at the house we were serving at before 9 and the learners were ready to jump to work. Mr. Fanelli counted groups off and Pastor Joey assigned us our areas. The team I was with was tasked with cleaning up the front yard. We grabbed our gloves and started working. Some were pulling weeds, others were raking and a few were trimming back a large tree. It was great to see the learners ready and eager to start working. They were laughing and smiling and willing to do whatever was asked of them. As soon as they finished a task they would ask what they could do next. The Dream Center workers were impressed by their diligence within minutes of work starting. 


There were countless times where we would see learners step into tasks with positive and willing attitudes, it was such a blessing to see. Yet the thing that touched me the most was not the work we did on the house we were there for, but the work they did for their neighbor. While we were working on the assigned house, the elderly neighbors next-door came outside to watch. They were so touched that we were helping their friend and creating a beautiful space for her to enjoy. As we were finishing up and breaking for lunch, they then began to work on their own yard. They were pulling weeds from a large rock area. As we began to eat, a few learners noticed the elderly couple bent over the weeds and decided their lunch could wait. They walked over and started pulling the weeds for the couple. By the end of lunch, this rock area was full of learners in the rocks pulling tiny weeds laughing and enjoying every minute. The couple was touched and in tears seeing their generosity and willingness to help them, without being asked, and after a few long hours that had already been put in next door. 

We are so proud of all of them and the work they did today. Such an amazing blessed day to kick off mission’s week!

Stay tuned for updates from our 2023 team!

About This Trip


Our team this year will serve in a variety of ministries here in Souther California! First, the team will serve in partnership with the Dream Center Lake Elsinore to beautify a local location that needs some love. Such a great way to show the community that we care. Next, the team will partner with Together We Rise to pack over 100 Sweet Cases, Birthday Boxes and other wonderful gifts for local Kids in the Foster System. Each local team member is personally donating a Sweet Case to a child in Foster Care! On Wednesday, the team will lead a VBS for our CCES Kindergartners that includes; Bible lessons, enthusiastic games, meaningful crafts, evangelism, and snack. That same day the team will have lunch with our CCC Encore Ministry. They will share stories, play games and worship together. Thursday, the team will spend the day at CCS doing a variety of clean-up projects that will benefit the whole school. Finally, on Friday the team will celebrate with a “Recreational Day” full of fun and meaningful reflection.