[column width=”1/1″ last=”true” title=”” title_type=”single” animation=”none” implicit=”true”]

The Impact of Service

By Hannah Veltman

In the summer of 2012, I got received a message from Terrah asking me to be an Impact56 leader the following school year. I was only going into 8th grade and at first I didn’t understand how she thought I could be a youth group leader. I didn’t have any experience and have always been fairly shy and reserved. Terrah saw potential in me and knew that I would be able to step up to the plate, but it took me a while to convince myself of that. After lots of prayer and encouragement from various people, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and become a leader. That was one of the best decisions of my life!

The first year that I was a part of Impact wasn’t easy. Along with it being my first experience as a leader, it was also the first year that the youth group was offered on Tuesday evenings which opened it up to the 5th and 6th graders of Drop Zone. The first night was a bit of a shock to all of the leaders. The room was filled with over 60 kids, compared to the previous average of about 15. Adjusting the setup and schedule of Impact56 to accommodate such a large group was a challenge, but we figured it out soon enough. It was pretty intimidating at first, but I’m so glad that I’ve had the chance to reach out to all of them. Getting to know students through Impact56 has really opened my eyes. It broke my heart to see the struggles so many of them face. Broken families, depression, and lack of self-confidence are only a few. I realized that Impact56 and Drop Zone are the only place many of these kids feel safe and loved. Before attending, some of these kids had no idea who Jesus was. Hearing the gospel and having positive influences is so vital to all of our lives, and that’s why I decided to continue serving in Impact56.

My past 3 years as a leader haven’t been without frustration or hardship, but they have been the most worthwhile years of my life. Building meaningful relationships with students and helping them grow in their relationship with God is incredibly rewarding. One encouraging experience that I’ve had was on last year’s road trip to Kentucky with all the students from Drop Zone, Impact56, and other youth ministries. We were in the bus on our way back home after visiting the Creation Museum. I was sitting by two girls that I knew from Impact56 who were really excited by what they learned from the museum and had lots of questions. It was a long bus ride and we talked for several hours about creation, salvation, how to gain a better relationship with God, and got to know each other better. They were so intrigued by God’s power and love, and we had a lot of fun together. I was so thankful to be able to share God’s word with them and help them develop a relationship with Him. The kids and leaders I work with are so amazing and have greatly impacted my life. I hope to continue being involved in the youth ministry of Rush Creek for a long time!