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Cross of Christ youth had a busy 24 hours this past weekend!  The four students in our Youth Discipleship program had their second of three annual retreats; each retreat is designed to be different from the others, and this one was the “lock-in” style retreat with a focus on serving the community.

The group kicked this retreat off packing food with 50 other people from the greater CofC community, and while the other food packers left tired and happy at the end of two hours, the YD kids headed upstairs to the newly-repainted Youth Room for snacks, games, and class time.  A movie rounded out the evening, and everyone hit the sack to get some sleep before the next service project.

Following breakfast the next morning, everyone piled into cars to head over to the Rainier Valley for a service project as part of the United Way of King County’s MLK Day of Service.  The crew from Cross of Christ was part of more than 2800 volunteers countywide attacking projects that would make a difference in the lives of people all over King County.  Our group was matched with a project on behalf of the Low Income Housing Institute, a not-for-profit organization that secures, develops, and operates housing for low-income, homeless, and formerly homeless people in Washington State.

The shovels were waiting when the enthusiastic YD kids spilled out of the car, as was Christina, the fantastic property manager who had requested volunteers.  LIHI had acquired the property relatively recently, and she wanted to replace the weedy patches of dirt outside the units with low-maintenance bark, not only reducing future maintenance time, but giving residents an environment that speaks to the care and respect LIHI gives to its clients.

Three hours, two pizzas, and more than one tired back later, every weed was gone and shiny new bark lay ready to greet residents and visitors.  As with the day before, everyone left tired, yet smiling.  God’s work was in the hands–and backs–of Cross of Christ teens that day.  Thanks to LIHI and Christina for hosting the project and giving our Youth Discipleship students another chance to live out their call to service!