Jon Stolpe Stretched

What's S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g me now?

Middle School Missions Trip Recap

Today, I am so proud that I can introduce my daughter as my guest blogger.  In her post below, Hannah shares her take on a missions trip she took two weeks ago with my son and a group of middle school students from our church.  I think you’ll see that this trip had an impact on Hannah, and you’ll see that God can use anyone – even a group of crazy middle schoolers!

(If you’re interested in guest posting on my blog, please drop me a comment.  I’d love to connect with you.)


Two weeks ago, I went on a missions trip to Johnstown, PA with my church’s youth group.  We had a great time and were able to help and shine God’s love to so many people. As well as serving people, I also learned a lot about how I should live according to God’s Word.  One of the biggest things I learned can be found in Luke 22:42:

 “Father, if you are willing take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done

A lot of the times, I want to do what I want to do.  I’ll want to do this. I won’t want to do that.  But as a follower of God, He calls me to do His will – to step out of my comfort zone and not necessarily do what I want to do.  He has amazing plans for me, but they can only happen if I follow His will.  Two weeks ago, whatever we did we asked God for guidance so that we could do His will.  Whether it was asking Him what He wanted us to do that day or listening to Him to see if He wanted us to talk to someone, His will was done and it was amazing to see His plans for our group unfold.

Here’s a recap of our week:

On Monday, we went to a church down the street from where we were staying.  This church has been closed for two years due to the economy.  With the amount of churches closing in their area, they have decided to reopen.  As it has been closed for two years, there was a lot of work to do.  We mopped, swept, weeded, trimmed bushes, painted, scrubbed, and scraped paint and rust off poles.  It was amazing to see how much work our middle school group was able to accomplish in such a short time.  It also was great to see how grateful everyone was for the work we accomplished!Tuesday was by far my favorite day.  On Tuesday, we went to an old hospital in the town of Culver.  The owner of the hospital (Jeremy) is turning it into a community center for Culver.   It will have apartments, a kitchen, his house, and other things for youth – such as a gaming room.  On Tuesday, my middle school group and the high school group that was staying with us helped to clean out the hospital and tear down the walls and ceiling.  It was God’s miracle that no one got hurt despite the large amounts of plaster that continually fell.  After we finished our work, a friend and I explored the hospital.  There was lots of papers, x-rays, and old equipment.  Later that evening, we played volleyball, roasted marshmallows, sang songs around a fire, and watched fireworks.My day on Wednesday was split into two parts.  In the morning, I baked cookies and made cards.  Another group would hand out the cookies, cards, and Bibles to people the next day.  Their decision to do this definitely involved following God’s will by stepping out of their comfort zones to talk with the people who received the Bibles.

In the afternoon, we went to Goodwill.  We swept up trash and threw trash it into a big dumpster. Then a few people who worked there told us about what Goodwill does. We also got to meet a man who was employed by Goodwill a couple of years ago.  He was very thankful for his job and groups like ours who help out at Goodwill.

On Thursday, we went to a soup kitchen and a nursing home.  At the soup kitchen, we moved wood and sorted food and utensils. At the end, we were able to eat lunch with a few recipients of the soup kitchen food.

At the nursing home, we did several things.  First, we escorted the residents to their rooms after a ballroom dancing show.  A few of the people on our team were able to talk and pray with residents.  After that, we cut and colored Forth of July coloring pages with residents.  Later, the nursing home staff were going to put the decorations on the residents’ doors.

On Friday, we traveled home, but first, we made some detours.  After a small lunch of pop tarts at the church we were staying at, we went to McDonald’s for a bigger breakfast.  We then followed the GPS until we arrived at the incline plane in Johnstown.  We took a round trip on the incline plane and then headed to Chuck E. Cheese’s for some last-minute fun.  After Chuck E. Cheese’s, we sat on the pavement and went around in a circle complementing and encouraging each other.  After that, we went to the food court to grab some food before heading home.

All in all, it was a great trip.  I’m so glad I went, and I look forward to future opportunities to serve!

Have you ever been on a missions trip?  What was something you learned on this trip? 


July 15, 2011 - Posted by | experiences, guest blogger, new experiences, stretch, thoughts


  1. Well done, Hannah!

    I’ve been on many trips, but one of my first… I went to West VA to help rebuild and paint houses. It was memorable as it was when God really showed me that He wanted to be personally involved in my life. It was one of “those trips” (very exciting!).

    Comment by Dustin | July 15, 2011 | Reply

  2. This is a absolutely amazing story. It is an AWESOME story written by our grandaughter. She is a true blessing from God and an amazing young lady. God has certainly blessed her parents’, Jon and Leanne, too.

    What an incredible missions trip that she and Isaac did along with the group of middle school students’ and their leaders. It certainly left a mark in their lives and all of those who helped. It was the work of God, no doubt about that.

    I think that Isaac was the youngest at age 11, so you see, even 11 year olds can help other people and carry on the work that God wants them to do and to follow.

    INCREDIBLE !!!! Many blessings to all of them.

    P.S. Hannah, you did an amazing job at writing this incredible story. We love you. Grammy and PapPap Lomicka

    Comment by Janet Lomicka | July 15, 2011 | Reply

  3. […] Friday:  Hannah Stolpe (my daughter) – Middle School Missions Trip Recap […]

    Pingback by I’m Back… « Jon Stolpe Stretched | July 17, 2011 | Reply

  4. Wonderful job sharing your experience with us Hannah. How encouraging that you’re learning to follow God’s will at such a young age, I pray you always have a tender heart. I went on a mission trip to what’s now the Czech Republic when I was 14, it was a powerful experience that I’m very thankful for. I know you’re proud of Hannah, Jon!

    Comment by Beck | July 18, 2011 | Reply

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