The CrossFire Youth Group 2007 Mission Trip to Connecticut

Below is an article from Pastor Steve Rahn Berean's Youth pastor describing the High School Youth Mission Trip:

On Tuesday, June 12, 2007, we hit the road for Branford, Connecticut, the hometown of Pastor Tim Zacharias and his eight year old church plant, Community Baptist Church. Our group was quite the eclectic band of missionaries. We had had among our number fourteen teenagers—Casey Smith, Kirsten Paschal, Shannon Smith, Amy Vafai, Jon Beach, Hannah Plain, Greg Adams, Kimmy Nulf, Kelly Nulf, Amber Hawk, Katie Plain, Ryan Ikeya, Jared Smith, and Allie Paschal. We also had five adults—Steve and Denise Rahn, Tom and Michelle Baughan, and Mike Germany. We were accompanied as well by two small fries—Abigail and Meribeth Rahn, who were too young to stay home by themselves. We also had one Rudy Queen who shall remain uncategorized.

We traveled up Interstate 95 North around DC, through Philly, New Jersey and New York, over the George Washington Bridge, and pulled into the Days Inn about 11:00 that night. The newly reopened hotel (it had been shut down because of code violations—ouch!) welcomed us to their rather interesting abode, which was more than adequate, and yet somehow less than comfortable—perfect for a mission trip.

Wednesday we all woke up and dined on Duncan Donuts for breakfast. The Days Inn continental breakfast was not yet available, still recovering from those code violations, we presume. Pastor Tim Zacharias met us at the hotel that morning to introduce us to himself and to his ministry. We spent the morning putting together church mailers and door hanger packets as well as moving the church’s chairs, tables, signs and other items to a storage unit that Pastor Tim had recently rented. Wednesday afternoon we took a boat tour around some of the islands just off the coast in Branford, and we spent some time hanging fliers in some community neighborhoods. In the evening, we had a fellowship at the home of one of CBC Branford’s very hospitable families. We enjoyed some great food, fun at the lake, testimonies, and a biblical challenge from Pastor Tim.

We ended each of our evenings at the hotel with a devotional. Mrs. Rahn led the girls, and the male chaperones took turns with the guys. We had great talks and grew closer to God through these times.

On Thursday morning, we held a free car wash in the Days Inn Parking lot. While the “customers” were waiting for their car to get cleaned, we took the opportunity to explain to them about Community Baptist Church and invite them to visit the services. After lunch, we took a tour of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. And that evening, the Zacharias Family took us to a great seafood restaurant and then we watched the sunset at the beach.

Our group spent Friday morning and afternoon at a children’s ministry camp. We learned about leading young kids to Christ and heard some great tips for teaching missionary stories and Bible lessons. That evening, we enjoyed a unique dinner at a small Greek restaurant down the road from our hotel, and spent the rest of the evening relaxing.

Saturday was probably the highlight of the trip for us. Every year the City of Branford holds a large community festival. The festival grounds are lined with various booths, and Bro Zacharias has always had a booth at the festival to promote the church and their annual Vacation Bible School. This year our group got to be at the festival and man the booth. The church purchased a large kiddie pool and quite a few beach toys and held a drawing at the CBC booth. The kids who signed up were put on the contact list for VBS and it was a blessing when almost 300 kids entered the drawing! We are praying that God uses these efforts to draw many families to CBC Branford.

Sunday we worshiped in the morning with Pastor Tim and his church. The church has grown to around 90 people and they are praying that God will bless them with a building soon. They are contracted through December to meet in a local Community Building which is an adequate place for them to worship, but the lack of their own building is limiting them in many different ways. Please join them in praying that God will do a work in that situation. The people of CBC are very friendly and it is evident that Bro Tim has spent a good deal of time discipling his co-laborers there in Branford. They love the Lord and they love people. That evening we had special time at Lighthouse Park, a beautiful spot just down the road from Branford. We had some more testimonies and another great challenge from God’s Word.

Monday, we enjoyed a day trip to New York City. We saw quite a few sights, including the Statue of Liberty and Ground Zero. We did some big city shopping, and made some big city memories.

Tuesday we made the long drive back to Fayetteville. Our trailer blew a tire and so we arrived a little later than planned, but our spirits were high and our attitudes were good. We praise God for affording us these opportunities and providing us with safety and wisdom as we went. Thank you for your support and for your prayers. Find a teenager and ask them about their experience—I bet you’ll get an earful.

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