Youth

Confirmation by Dylan Hilburn

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My name is Dylan Hilburn and I ‘m going through Confirmation this year. To me, Confirmation is one of the biggest events in my life because I am confirming my belief in Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit. I also get a name tag and get to join the church! 

As part of confirmation, every kid got a mentor. Mine was Mr. Pete. I’ve enjoyed spending time with him. He came to our house for dinner and we went to their club house for lunch. We’ve discussed many things that I’ve learned in confirmation. I like being able to talk about what I’m learning with him. I feel like me and Mr. Pete are going to be friends even after I’m confirmed. 

I have learned so much about the Methodist Church and the people that founded it. In Confirmation class, we have covered some pretty deep topics. Some of them were Salvation, Life after death, History of the church, our beliefs, and so much more. This was important to me because it helped me understand my faith on a deeper level. In a couple of weeks, I will make a big step in my journey with God by getting baptized and confirmed.

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Be the Gift by Carla Hilburn

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A couple of years ago, God put a dream in my heart for a day of service called Be the Gift. I wanted a way to put into action the messages we give our students every Christmas “It’s better to give than to receive,” and “Christmas is about being generous and sharing with others.” It was important to me that our students know how to LIVE OUT their faith and to see that they can make a big difference in their communities as middle school and high school students. 

Last year, we kicked off Be the Gift with about twelve kids and three service projects; it was amazing. We knew this year would be bigger than last year, but y’all, we were blown away when 40 kids signed up to serve! 

God’s hand has been at work all throughout the planning process. One of our youth’s family who owns a bus (AND decorates it for Christmas!) volunteered to help cart around all these kids. A divine meeting with UP Ministry volunteers resulted in finding a perfect project for our students to shop for UP Angel kids. We thought we ordered too many t-shirts but ended up having JUST the right number. In other words... we have been saying “God is Good!” the whole way through. We knew the day was going to be special, and it was! 

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We kicked of the day at our church, where our students hosted a walk-through play of the nativity story, so that young kids and their families were able to see the story of Jesus’ birth come to life. It was amazing to watch the little ones look up to our “big kids” and to see them understand the story of our Savior’s birth in a new way. 

Then, each student received $5.00 to spend at 5 Below and was able to pick out gifts for kids in need. It was neat to watch our students picking out things that they thought other kids might like to receive for Christmas. They were so thoughtful in their selections! 

Later, we visited an elderly couple who have lived in Argyle for over 40 years. They’re limited in mobility, so we helped them clean up their yard to make it safer for them to be outside. Our students worked so hard and got a ton done. In the end, the couple came out to thank the kids and pray for our group. Then, one of our 6th-grade students, Jenna, jumped up and prayed over them. Such a blessing! 

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Last, but certainly not least, we blessed our friends at Mayberry Gardens by spreading some Christmas cheer, caroling with them. We brought small treats for each resident and each one of them expressed how much it meant just to have the students there. Many students recognized their “friends” from our visit in the fall. It was sweet to see not only our students recognize the residents, but also the residents light up to recognize our students. 

At the end of the day, almost every student asked when we could go back to serve the couple and Mayberry Gardens. Our students are hard workers with HUGE hearts for God and others. They spread all sorts of joy, hope, love, and peace throughout the day and were a huge blessing to our community, which is what this season of Advent is all about. Their hearts to serve and love others is incredible and God is using them to be the gift in this community!

My Time at Mayberry Gardens by Kimberly Giese

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I loved spending time at Mayberry Gardens nursing home and having fun with Ms. Betty Elizabeth. As soon as we chose our new friends, she was welcoming. From there, we talked about our love of bingo. We laughed and shared our thoughts about our unlucky (bingo) card. By the third round I had learned about her life, siblings, and thoughts on the world. 

Once we shouted “WE WON!” for bingo, she gave me her headband, which was her prize for winning, and we even got some more (another head band). We took some photos of us as twinsies. At the very end of the day when we were leaving she asked me if I was coming back next year and said she that she is going to teach me how to crochet. I told her I will for sure be back, and prepared for a crochet lesson. Mayberry Gardens and Ms. Betty Elizabeth strengthen my faith in Christ and my eyes on the world. 

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All students are invited to participate in the incredible work that God is stirring in the hearts of our youth. You can find opportunities to engage with our Argyle Youth at argyleyouth.org or on Facebook at facebook.com/argyleyouth1.

Run for Your Sons

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Run for Your Sons is a community event to help raise awareness for Duchenne and funds to help find a cure. We have two boys in the Argyle community who have Duchenne’s disease, which is crazy because the disease is pretty rare! Corbin Fanning, who is in 8th grade and part of our AY family, is one of those boys; the other is Michael Hope. 

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This year, we put together a team of 18 students and parents who ran either 1 mile or a 5k for this awesome cause. I asked several of our students why the signed up to participate in Run for Your Sons, and many of them said “to support Corbin Fanning.” 

One of our students, Ann Shannon, said that she “likes running and wanted to help find a cure for Duchenne.” Ann also agreed with me that it was really cool to be out in the community together, as a youth group, supporting one of our own. 

I asked another one of our students, Parker, what that day meant for us as a youth group. He said, “It meant that we stuck together and that we can do anything. It was awesome to be out here together and cheering each other on.”

Our goal in participating in Run for Your Sons was to support Corbin and let him know how much his AY family loves him, and I think we did just that. It was amazing to see so many students and their parents join together to support Corbin and our community.

All students are invited to participate in the incredible work that God is stirring in the hearts of our youth. You can find opportunities to engage with our Argyle Youth at  argyleyouth.org or on Facebook at facebook.com/argyleyouth1.

Putting Christ First

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This August, our Middle Schoolers made their annual trip to Goodland Academy in Hugo, OK where they served by getting the grounds ready for the new school year. Goodland Academy has been helping students achieve success since 1848, and their goal is to educate students to read, write, and to think critically and biblically in a community environment. 

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Our youth worked on the playground and facilities, as well as on other projects—and had a blast while doing it! One of our 7th grade students, Kamden Roberts, had a great time “playing basketball with [his] friends and laughing at Carla’s jokes” and an even greater time meeting our guest worship leader, Wes Pickering, and bringing that music home to his family. He also “learned something new each day” during small group time connecting with all of his peers. When we asked Kamden to tell us why this mission trip was important to him, he said “the main reason why this experience was so special to me was because I rededicated my life to Christ. I want to put Christ first in my life and it makes me happy to say that and to try my best to live like Christ.” 

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It is so encouraging to see our young people excited about God’s work in their lives and in our world! Our Argyle Youth are looking forward to more opportunities to live into our mission to transform the world one life at a time, and as Kamden said, “Goodland Academy was awesome and I can’t wait to go back next year.” 

All students are invited to participate in the incredible work that God is stirring in the hearts of our youth. You can find opportunities to engage with our Argyle Youth atargyleyouth.org or on Facebook at facebook.com/argyleyouth1.

Work that Makes a Difference

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Our High Schoolers sought out God’s call to serve by journeying to Lumberton, NC this summer and serving on a Hurricane Matthew relief team. 

The flooding from Hurricane Matthew left thousands homeless and our Argyle Youth worked hard to repair three homes to the point where families could move back in. 

One of our students, Michael Rigsby, felt really impacted by the work they were able to do there—work that really “made a difference for people.” Michael said that this mission trip really “got [him] out of his comfort zone” and gave him “an opportunity to serve in a place where [they] were really needed.” 

Our Argyle Youth were able to grow, serve, and bond together as they made a tangible impact for families in need. When we asked Michael what he would share with anyone seeking God’s call, he said “for me personally, through service, you can really show the message of God,” and our Youth are looking forward to continuing to share God’s love through service as they enter a new school year. 

All students are invited to participate in the incredible work that God is stirring in the hearts of our youth. You can find opportunities to engage with our Argyle Youth at
argyleyouth.org or on Facebook at
facebook.com/argyleyouth1.

Our Senior Mission Trip to Guatemala

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This spring break I had the opportunity to go on my senior mission trip to Guatemala. Before I go any farther, I want to say that this was, by far, my favorite mission trip yet. This group consisted of six seniors—Ethan Williams, Brayden Ratcliff, Molly Sheridan, Allison McNeill, Jordan Allen, and myself (Brett Byer)—alongside five adults—Chris Schoolcraft, Carla Hilburn, Drew Tucker, Julie Sheridan, and Kelly Allen. We worked with Mission Guatemala, a Methodist-based nonprofit, to help serve the community of San Andrés.

Our first full day there, we went to the market in Chichicastenango. We were able to shop and buy souvenirs, but more importantly, we were able to see first-hand the culture that we were about to be serving. While at the market, we got to tour the city. We went to the Church of Santo Tomas, where we saw both a catholic priest and a Mayan priest worshiping next to each other at the same time. It was a beautiful moment. They both showed respect for the other and they both loved each other.

On our first workday, before any work was done, we attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the new teachers’ office facility we were going to be working on all week. They had us as their guests of honor, and to be honest, it was a little strange. All we were going to do was come and sweat a little and then leave for another team to take over. But they didn’t see it that way. We were the first group that was going to work on this new facility. This was something that they had been wanting for a long time, and for it to finally be happening, they were so happy. After the ceremony, we began working. It was at that point when we realized just how hard the week was going to be. This was far from our normal “light construction and painting” that we are used to. This was busting up rocks and digging trenches. But over the course of the week, we began to bond with the workers that we worked with. They invited us to join them in their mid-day tradition of drinking Coke and eating bread. I’m not a big coke drinker, but that bread was so good. With the little Spanish that we knew, we tried to communicate with them. And it worked pretty well. I had a 10-minute conversation one day with one of the workers, in Spanish, about…sports. I don’t think my Spanish was great, but I was able to get my point across and have a meaningful conversation. Another day, just after lunch and just before we went back to work, we were playing a card game. I asked one of the workers if he wanted to play. He said yes. So I sat out that round and taught him the game and helped him, but I’m going to be honest, he didn’t need the help. He ended up winning the game. It was the moments like these that I’m going to remember for the rest of my life. Even though I don’t speak a lot of Spanish, I was able to communicate, and for those times when I couldn’t, we had fun and played games.

Back at the Mission Guatemala hotel, another team was staying there. They were from Columbus, Ohio. We ate breakfast and dinner at the hotel with them, but we segregated to our own tables. After about 2 days of doing that, I had the idea of mixing with them to get to know them and bond with them. So one morning at breakfast, we just sat all over the place, and when they walked in, they did not hesitate to go and fill in the gaps. They were excited to get to know us. This continued throughout the rest of the week. We were able to bond and form great relationships with them just by changing how we ate. Julie and Molly went on morning runs throughout the week, and they even got Molly—from the Columbus group—to go run with them. It was really amazing to see how God was growing our relationship with them.

Every night, we would have worship and devo. This was definitely my favorite part of the day. We sat in the living room of the girls apartment and just worshiped. Everyone, singing at the top of their lungs and just truly worshiping God. Every night. We felt the Holy Spirit at work in that space, filing us with so many emotions. We had great devotions. There wasn’t a night that we didn’t have to break out the toilet paper to be used as tissues. That space was full of so much love, not just for God, but for each other. That’s what I’m going to miss the most.

One night, we got to witness a Mayan ritual and see how they worship. We got to join in and worship our own God while also performing the Mayan ritual of burning candles. This was followed by dance. I’m not big on dancing, but it was really fun to just skip around in a circle.

This was an amazing mission trip. We got to be apart, a small part, but an important part of something so great. We formed bonds that we never could have imagined would have been formed. We saw God move in great and mighty ways. We got to see a different culture and see how they worship. We got to drink some amazing coffee. And we got to be the hands and feet of God in San Andrés, Guatemala. 

Intergenerational Valentine's Dinner with our Widows and Widowers

Each year around Valentine's Day, we've hosted a special dinner for our Widows and Widowers. This year, we hoped to make it even more special by inviting new groups to be our hosts--our very own Argyle Kids and Argyle Youth! On Wednesday, February 15, our FAST 5 5th graders and our STUWO middle schoolers threw the best Valentine's party Argyle has ever seen for our Widows and Widowers! We broke bread intergenerationally and had a blast getting to know each other over a delicious Italian dinner catered by Salerno's. A big thanks to all the kids and youth who hosted this event, and to the staff at Salerno's Italian Restaurant in Flower Mound for catering the incredible meal!