Solid Rock youth group focuses on mission projects
WORTHINGTON -- The youth group of Solid Rock Assembly is having a rummage sale Saturday at Max 493 in an effort to reach its current goal of $25,500.What began as a $15,000 goal in 2014 has now led the youth group to raise more than $50,000 in ju...
WORTHINGTON - The youth group of Solid Rock Assembly is having a rummage sale Saturday at Max 493 in an effort to reach its current goal of $25,500.
What began as a $15,000 goal in 2014 has now led the youth group to raise more than $50,000 in just 2½ years. While this may seem to be a feat in itself, even more notable is that the youths are giving it all away.
“Speed the Light is the main organization that we give into for missions,” Solid Rock Associate Pastor John Nau said. “It equips missionaries with vehicles, projectors, sound equipment - tangible things that they need. We bought donkeys for missionaries to go to places where they can’t go otherwise, snowmobiles for missionaries up in Russia.”
While there are countless organizations to give money to, Nau said the youths chose Speed the Light because they knows their donations will allow missionaries to reach more people.
“We really stick with Speed the Light because they have the highest percentage as far as what money goes to the actual projects,” he said. “It’s really about transportation and the materials that they need to share the Gospel or start a church.”
In addition to Speed the Light, the kids give to a few other groups with equally worthy causes.
“In the last few years, we’ve started to partner with other groups, like Free International, which helps fight human trafficking, especially here in the U.S. where it’s something that we are just starting now to accept that, ‘Hey, this is an issue,’” Nau said.
A third organization the Solid Rock youths are donating to is WorldServe International.
“WorldServe is the group that’s digging water wells in Africa, so this year we’re digging water wells in Tanzania with the money,” Nau said.
The students started their first major money raising effort two years ago.
“I had a group of students who really caught a passion for (missions),” he said. “They set this outrageous goal of $15,000 one year, and the most we had ever given before that was $5,200, which was awesome, but it wasn’t anything like this.”
The youths decided to have a rummage sale, and while it was successful, it wasn’t the main fundraiser for the project.
“It went way better than I expected, and the community really showed up and supported the kids,” he said. “The rummage sale raised $4,000, and then the kids raised another $17,000, but it’s a nice jump.
“We had one person last time who had a 25-cent item, and they gave $100 and said, ‘Keep the change,’ and so that really encouraged the kids,” Nau added. “It’s a good way for the community to get involved if they believe in the mission and the vision of these projects. When people see that it’s a worthy cause and that they can do something about it, they’re all in.”
The items for the sale are donated by members of Solid Rock, other churches, and the community, and anything unsold will be donated to a local secondhand store.
Although the central idea behind this project is to raise money for charities, Nau noted that it’s a great opportunity to teach the youths to think about others before themselves.
“With the younger kids especially, it’s about teaching them to be selfless,” he said. “The average age of a person sold into human trafficking is 13 years old, and it’s not just in other countries, it’s here. When they begin to catch the vision that ‘This can happen here to my friends, to my sister, to my brother,’ I think that’s where the kids really start to sacrifice.”
He said the other motivation that keeps them going is seeing the money at work.
“I was in Greece a month ago, and we were working with some missionaries with the Syrian refugees,” he explained. “The day I got there they got a brand-new van that our students from Minnesota bought them so they can go out to the refugees.”
Nau emphasized that the youths enjoy assisting others, but the project gives them something as well.
“We think the greatest human right is for people to at least hear about Jesus,” said Nau. “For junior high and high school kids to do this, I think it’s just incredible, and I think more than anything it’s about helping them catch the heart of it.
“We have people from our main church who will give into the project sometimes, but this is mostly the kids raising money, giving their paychecks, and doing what they can to spread the gospel.”
The sale will be from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Max 493, 1303 Oxford St., Worthington.