Reedy Branch Baptist teens travel to Louisville, Ky.

  • Lauren Nobles and Kenneth Dobson cut and package peaches at The Lord’s Kitchen in Louisville, Ky.

Reedy Branch Baptist Church recently sent two youth and an adult to Louisville, Ky. for its first youth mission trip.

Teenagers Kenneth Dobson and Lauren Nobles, led by Darlene Sanders, were in Louisville July 22-28 through a partnership with YouthWorks at Epiphany UMC in Louisville to complete different missions throughout the community.

“It was a great experience to grow as friends and as Christians,” said Dobson.

At the Kling Senior Center the group talked with the elderly, played pool with them and served them lunch, which is the only meal that some of the elderly get. “The seniors also loved to have their pictures taken and we plan to mail the printed photos back to the senior center,” said Dobson.

The group also went to The Lord’s Kitchen, which is said to be in one of the city’s worst neighborhoods, said Dobson of how the neighborhood has been featured several times on the real-life crime television show “48 Hours”. At The Lord’s Kitchen, the church group cut peaches and packaged them in small cups to give to children in the community because most do not know where their next meal will come from during the summer months when school is out, said Dobson.

Another mission opportunity was at the Catholic Charities, a migration and refugee service in Louisville. They practiced English with refugees and helped unload and organize donations that community members dropped off at the site.

Dobson said he learned a lot from the trip, particularly respect. “The respect that I have is for the people who walk five miles to come find a hot meal as well as the people who work for free almost every day of the week trying to help people in their community. It’s really amazing to see how eager people are trying to get out and help others,” he said.

Nobles and Sanders said they were “very humbled to learn that so many people have so little yet we all have the love of Jesus and were able to share his love with so many lives this week through kindness or even a quick little smile.”

The church plans to hold a youth trip again next year in a different city.