Spring Break Missions

Social clubs serve inner-city youth

by Meghan Shruck

One of the greatest components of York College is the godly service that the students bring to campus and the surrounding community. This spring break, social clubs Sigma Tau and Theta Psi teamed up to provide a unique type of service to the inner-city youth of Denver, CO. The clubs worked with an inner-city mission called Dry Bones, which focuses on homeless and runaway youth, mostly between the ages of 18-24.

Sigma Tau service coordinator, Mark Smesrud, had the pleasure of working with Dry Bones this past summer, along with some youth group members through his internship in Texas. As Smesrud prepares for his internship with Dry Bones this summer, he decided to share the experience with some of his peers from YC.

Students involved were Sigma Tau’s Cory Clark, Patrick Good, Jake Owens, Saul Perez, Mark Smesrud, as well as Theta Psi’s Selena Emery, Tammy Phan, Toni Sabo, and Meghan Shruck. Sponsors included Bobby DeHart and Amy Springer.

The week began by hiking a steep climb called Table Mesa. The group was taught by Dry Bones staff about the meaning of its name, originating from Ezekiel 37, and the example Christ gave. Team members were told that Jesus meditated and prayed on mountain tops with God, but always went back to the valley and helped people who needed it the most. Specifically, the group learned that they were allowed to judge everyone they came into contact with, but only on the sole criteria that they are worthy of the death of Christ.

The week continued by taking a “Turf Tour,” which allowed the group to see where many youth spend their nights. They were able to see where the city of Denver blocked off spaces under bridges that are often used as places to sleep. They were taken to many places that look normal to the average person during the day, but have evidence of nightly drug abuse that is difficult to find.

As a final eye-opening experience of the Turf Tour, the group walked under ground in a pitch black tunnel. They learned that many people spend their days in tunnels just to hide from the city above that judges them. Although we find freedom in the sunshine, they find freedom in the darkness. The group learned to be like Christ, the light of the world, because as soon as the flashlight came on in the dark tunnel, everyone was drawn to the light.

The group also took an urban challenge with nine quarters in their pockets. This allowed them to see just how difficult it is to get to the inner-city from a suburb, using all but one quarter for a bus, and then to find services too expensive for a normal street kid to use.

As a group, these 11 members learned to experience nearly a completely different culture. They ministered by listening and accepting others who are rarely accepted. The students spent time taking teenagers to the movie theater, picnicking and making sandwiches, bowling, and feeding the Denver youth.

Each experience was different for each individual involved. They each spoke to someone with a completely different perspective on life. They all learned to accept others who call themselves “throwaways” by the criteria that they are worthy of the death of Christ. One consistent word by the team members to describe the experience was “amazing.” This word simply describes the awesome power that Christ holds to open our eyes.

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