It’s hard to believethat the youth group has been doing this particular service project for so many years. But what once was a fun way for the students and leaders to spend time together raising a little money to provide scholarships has become much more.For a number of years the youth has partnered with the Bowery Mission to make the annual pie sale a unique and multifaceted partnership in generosity.
The youth group boots off of a logo or theme–M621–which stands for Matthew 6:21: “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Various derivative tag lines have been used in past years like “Treasure What Matters.” This year’s is “Know Your Heart.” The intention of the tagline is to remind the youth group to live out the meaning of the verse through each service project and event.
From 3:00PM on Friday, November 19 to 3:00AM Saturday, approximately 50 students, parents and leaders bring their heart, joy and energy to make, bake and box 450 apple, pecan and pumpkin pies at the Bowery mission. And that is where this chain of generosity begins. There is a certain vibe or excitement that is transferred far beyond the initial work in the kitchen that is a beautiful expression of the gospel where the youth group’s treasure is.
First, the youth group is able to donate 80 to 100 pies to the Bowery for their Thanksgiving meal.
Then, second, the congregation buys hundreds of pies, providing the youth group with thousands of dollars for its scholarship fund. Because of the congregation’s generous support of the pie sale, this fall will be the third year the youth group will be able to provide the annual cost for the rent for TAOST (The Aids Orphans Support Trust) School in Uganda. This ongoing partnership between the youth group and TAOST is a God-given gift and has led to other fund raising events, which combined with the pie sale funds, have started the school on a path towards self-sufficiency. It has had the further important effect of teaching our young people about the generosity towards others that should be a hallmark of their faith.
When the youth group short-term mission team first visited TAOST in August of 2008 the enrollment was about 80 students and they met in what was little more than a barnyard. But because of the generosity of Redeemer’s congregation, youth leaders, students and parents, the school has been able to move into a clean, secure facility with water, electricity and working doors and locks. The enrollment has ballooned to well over 200 students and this year they opened a new library.
When the 2008 team went to Uganda many in the congregation supported the students and leaders and it was decided then that the team would not simply be a “one and done” team, but would instead be the start of a partnership between Redeemer and the school. So for the past 2+ years the youth group has continued to support TAOST and is now planning to return to the school in the summer of 2011 with a second short-term mission team. It is truly exciting to see what God has done through the youth group and Redeemer church to bring the gospel to bear on so many lives on the other side of the world.
And for those of you who have enjoyed a pie in the past, you thought you were only buying a pie!
If you would like to make a donation to support the youth mission team’s 2011 trip to Uganda, go to www.redeemer.com/uganda2011
Please buy a pie on November 21!