In our house, Easter morning is wholly unlike any other morning all year. We wake up at 4 AM, disoriented and not yet very joyful. The cat is displeased that we woke him up instead of the other way around. As we drive through the quiet city and turn on lights at church, I like to think about the women who went to see Jesus believing he was still in his tomb. What heaviness they must have felt walking to his body. But like these women, Easter is also one of my favorite days and particularly at Tenth. The cares and burdens of everyday life are put in perspective as we come together to celebrate what the resurrection means for our earthly and guaranteed everlasting life. Following the sunrise service at Rittenhouse Square, we invite you to join Maranatha for breakfast. Over the years, we’ve had cooks create this meal so that it is delicious and attentive to various allergies. This event also serves as a fundraiser for the youth summer mission trips. We need to raise roughly $60,000 this year to provide our day camps in West and Northeast Philly and an urban farming and learning from refugees trip to Buffalo, NY. The pancake breakfast is a time to provide a meal for those attending the sunrise service, serve and welcome visitors and newcomers, and give us time together as a church family on this special day. I love the energy and joy in the building on Easter morning!
Here a few testimonies from some members of Maranatha that testify to how the Lord has used these trips in wonderful ways in their lives.
Not only have I learned more about the love of God during mission trips, but I have also gained and strengthened bonds. This great community that God has made for us not only allows us to help others, but also allows others to know more about him. Every day I see God working in the hearts of the kids, and it makes me smile to see that he cares so deeply about every one of them. That is why I love being a part of these mission trips.
–Rickey Cheng, 10th grade
Every summer, the Maranatha youth group embarks on a journey throughout the city and to places such as Buffalo or Puerto Rico to help with hurricane relief and rebuilding. We do it to help kids to come to know Jesus Christ. However, it isn’t just the kids that learn. For the past two summers I have gone on the Northeast Philadelphia Mission Trip, and it was amazing to watch those kids come back each day excited to learn about God and do fun activities. It was exciting for me because I was able to teach what I had been learning in Sunday School and the sermon to them. With the funds we make from the Pancake Breakfast and the students’ support letters, we are able to send Maranatha on an exciting adventure every year to help other students learn about Jesus.
–Adam Humeniuk, 8th grade
Mission trips are so valuable to me, because while I was on them, I was able to devote everything to the Lord and serving others. Upon reflecting, nothing has made me happier than serving alongside my peers, and I would never have known that if I had not gone on these trips. They didn’t change my relationship with God. Instead, they strengthened it by calling me to rely on him for things like energy and strength. In addition to this, they allowed me to learn more about the gospel. The pancake breakfast is an opportunity for many of Christ’s children to be together on a day that is so important for worship. The breakfast is a great way for us as children and young adults to show our love for others through sacrifice (getting up early) and hard work.
–Anna Cole, 11th grade
Working on mission trips has taught me the value of Christian community. I am consistently amazed at how God uses trials and difficulties to drive brothers and sisters closer together and to accomplish amazing things.
–Seth Humeniuk, former teen, now leader