Glimpses from our Youth...“Wow! Amazing! How could anyone stand up and speak after a speaker like that?” That’s the feeling multiple people said they had last Sunday when Mary Beth Gentry had finished her five-minute talk about the Tanzania Mission trip. Having been on the trip with Mary Beth, a DHS Junior, alongside the rest of our team, I can say that not only did she articulate the perfect words and message for all of us, but that those words came straight from her heart.

Then came the person who had to follow Mary Beth’s talk, another Tanzania team member, a DHS senior named Sara. Her words were just as perfect, from just as deep down inside and, because they were so unique, it was clear that we heard two completely different stories but both were exactly what we needed to hear. Over the next couple newsletters, we’ll share the words from those young ladies on our front page. Listen closely to their story because they went as two of your missionaries to Tanzania. If you listen closely enough, you might even feel like we felt on Sunday: their story is God’s story; and thank goodness, their story is also my story. Here’s the first part of their stories: 

SARA’S STORY: Good morning, my name is Sara White and I’m a senior at Dyersburg High School. My parents and your donations helped me go to Tanzania, and it’s because of all of you that I have fallen in love with what I am supposed to do. To give you a glimpse into how I feel about this place, 

I’ll read y’all the intro for one of my college application essays. You know that feeling when you first wake up on a rainy day? The rain drops against your window, the faint sounds of the wind, and the rumbling thunder behind it all. That first feeling of peace in the morning, a feeling of comfort, a feeling of home. All of the stresses of the day not yet on your mind, and the peacefulness of a good night’s rest supplying your eyes just enough energy to remain open to adjust to the darkness of your room. Now imagine that feeling lasting for an entire day. Or if you’re like me, and you’ve been to Tanzania, imagine that feeling lasting for an entire two weeks. I’m not going to lie, it was not all complete comfort of your bed on a rainy morning and the lack of worry as you take your first deep breath of the day. Tanzania was scary, it was messy, it was gross sometimes, and it was sad. Language barriers are tiring, and the UV rays by the equator can drain you. There are a lot of challenging things that come with Tanzania; however, for me, everything was exactly as it needed to be. (Check out next week’s newsletter for the rest of Sara’s story and the introduction to Mary Beth’s story). Join us Sunday as Will shares how the book of James finally shifts from works, action, and deeds to focus on something a little bit higher, prayer. 

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Sincerely in Christ: Ed, Will and the First UMC Family.