2021 Mission Trips

If we have learned anything over these past 11 months, it’s to be flexible. So, as I share a mission trip update, I ask that you continue to be flexible with the Youth Ministry Team as we begin planning for our 2021 Youth Mission Trips. 
Dates have been set for both the Jr. High and High School Mission Trips. I have spoken with both of our mission partners, and they are confident that they will be having groups this summer. I have also made a change to the number of mission trips, so that we don’t overschedule the summer, once families are able to travel again. I hope by getting these dates out now, you will be able to plan around them to ensure your child will be able to attend. 
The High School Trip will be to Hazard, and the dates are July 11-16. At this time, I do not have a cost, but the site has ensured me we can bring 35-40 youth.  
The Middle School Trip will be to Lexington, and the dates are June 26-July 1. At this time, I do not have a cost, but the site has ensured me we can bring 25-30 youth. 
I also am making a change on who is able to attend these trips. In the past we have always had students rising into 9th grade attend the High School Mission Trip. If we continued that this year, my Jr. High Mission Trip would be all first-time students, given we did not have a mission trips last year. This causes me concern because I will lack the leadership from those who have attended and are older. So, this year our Jr. High Trip will be for rising 7th, 8th, and 9th graders. For our rising 9th grade youth, this will be their first time to Lexington, and I wouldn’t want them to miss out. They will also still get four high school trips. So, this means our High School Mission Trip will be for those who have graduated this year or are entering 10th, 11th, and 12th grade. 
More information will be coming next week. I hope to have a deadline for sign-ups and a cost for each trip. I appreciate your patience and look forward to a summer of service with the youth of Geist Christian Church. 

The ABC’s of Mission Trip 3

ABCs of Mission Trip 3 by Jeff Crague

A is for attitude…amazing, positive, and caring

B is for bug spray…a necessity during our work on farms and in gardens

C is for Cinderella…we saw a wonderful production at the Muny in Forest Park

D is for donuts…Kyle brought some from Worlds’s Fair Donuts

E is for emergency room…we had a slight scare, but fortunately everything is okay

F is for foosball…we had fun playing human foosball with our new friends in the community

G is for go…always on the go!

H is for heat…and humidity!

I is for Italian food…who knew that Kyle was such a great chef…he showed some of the youth some good cooking methods

J is for Jackson…both of them

K is for Kyle…Pastor Kyle does an awesome job!

L is for laughter…the youth spent a lot of time in laughter and fellowship on this trip

M is for Mia…we celebrated her birthday on the trip

N is for nice…which describes all of the youth and all of our new friends that we made

O is for odd…food combinations tried by Kyle…like a vanilla Oreo with hot sauce and bread and butter pickle (and it’s really not half bad)

P is for Pappy’s BBQ…voted the best BBQ in the Lou and a great treat on Wednesday

Q is for quantity…mass quantities of food were consumed

R is for rest…which is well deserved after this trip

S is for St. Louis…the site of our mission work this week

T is for Ted Drewes…a St. Louis icon known for its frozen custard

U is for unique…which describes the opportunity that the youth have on mission trips and all of their personalities

V is for victory…winning at card games was a source of pride during the trip

W is for weeds…large quantities of weeds were pulled this week

X is for xtra…a theme for some on this trip

Y is for youth…the youth are a great group and do extraordinary things!

Z is for zoo…no trip to St. Louis is complete without a visit

Fun Day

This was my first mission trip and we did lots of service, but today was our last day so we got a break. We went to the City Museum this morning and I think it was a really neat experience. We climbed through tunnels, up ladders, and through caves. We also slid down some pretty cool slides. I think I made a lot of neat new friendships with people from GCC and others, and I made existing friendships even stronger.

-Mia Schiesser


Deep Thursday was our last day of service for STL 19. Thursday is DEEP into the week. Our jokes are DEEPER, our service moves DEEPER into the community, our bonds are DEEPER, our care is DEEPER.

Thursday was leg day, every day is leg day! 🤣 Lauren has a knack for dramatically overexerting herself then sheepishly looking for approval to be done…keep working, but thanks for the material for our resident impersonator Matthew. 🤣 Mía got a bug bite on her butt that made her butt uneven…we didn’t see, it but that must have been an impressive bug! 🤣 Kyle announced to us that he must be pregnant – that explains the ridiculously absurd and unusual cravings he’s eaten this week often involving pickles, hot sauce, and sweets. 🤣 This and so much more led to DEEP belly laughs, but maybe you had to be there!

Our final day of service started on an urban farm where we were thankful the mercury in the thermometer fell a bit DEEPER and we had a little reprieve from the scorching heat advisory. It was simply summertime hot. The urban farms give refugees and immigrants opportunities to farm -connecting them with the earth and their home cultures of Eastern Africa and South Central America, and the ability to grow food that can’t be found in stores. The cost of urban farming is astounding so the organization requires funding from DEEP pockets in order to remediate contaminated city soil. The lot we worked had a 3-4 foot DEEP layers of wood-chips as the first step of the remediation process. Pulling weeds from wood chips can be easier than dry, hard soil; but, the roots run DEEP and can be entangled in old tree roots and sticks. There was a large patch of grass that took massive team work with about 15 of us working together to untangle and pull out the roots all the while the experience was entangling our lives with each other more and more and helping our youth grow DEEPER.

We also served at a senior living center playing a cheerful word game, word puzzle, and sing a long. I know that sounds like a slow, boring afternoon – we thought so too. But, we dug down DEEP and went in with a smile. The youth paired up with residents and sat sometimes on their laps, sometimes an arm around them. They came up with cheerful words, made words out of the letters in the word beautiful, and sang songs together from the 1920’s Singin in the Rain, to the Beatles Love Me Do, to the rap I Love My Mom (my new favorite song), and Taylor Swift’s newest, Me! We took a little break to welcome home and congratulate the newly crowned 98 year old Miss Senior Missouri. Aside from having fun, conversations and connection happened bringing a pure DEEP joy that was visible in the change of expressions & body language and the challenge of saying good-byes and getting the residents to their 4:30 dinner and our youth to the bus. They returned to the bus having touch lived and been touched. They left behind joy and their necklaces marking God’s love DEEP at work in STL.

For an afternoon snack there was no need to dig DEEP at 7-11 as we enjoyed the free slushies!

For dinner we joined the other work group at a homeless shelter and filled our bellies down DEEP with spaghetti and ice cream. We were under the rule of 5 year old King Patrick who informed us that Jesus was coming back as Sidney!

No STL visit is complete without visiting the iconic Gateway Arch that rises up from DEEP in the ground to 630 feet in the sky. We enjoyed the views from below only after we drove circles around downtown getting blocked by flood walls due to the DEEP waters of the Mississippi and walked here, there, and everywhere in search of the bathrooms. We wised up and had the drivers get the buses and pick us up so Robbie didn’t have to crutch a mile back. The kids frolicked in the water fountain as the sun set on the day and our mission trip. The colors lit up the sky much the same as our youth lit up STL and all those we served this week.

Our last evening in AMEN house closed with our devotion on Ephesians 4:2. It was amazing to hear how DEEPLY the youth have grown as they shared where they saw God on the move this week learning, serving, growing, and setting the world on fire with our love.

In the 21st century of highly competitive everything and technology in every room and every hand, it’s not often we get to truly PLAY. To cap off the week and leave any bits of remaining energy in STL, we spent the morning at The City Museum. We dug DEEP into our early childhood years to climb, explore, seek, scoot, slide, slither, crawl, twist, turn, and bend our way through whatever the next turn threw our way. There is no map. Much like life, you may have an “idea” of where you are going but you do not know the exact route. There is not a direct route. But, it’s a whole lot more fun if you accept the adventure by embracing and enjoying each new thing you encounter along the way. The morning will leave some DEEP bruises but also some DEEP memories from the smiles and accomplishments of going down the 10 story slide and making it up to the airplane wings.

Their love for God is DEEP

Their care for each other was DEEP

The joy they shared was DEEP

The service came from DEEP within

The memories run DEEP

The connections are DEEP

GCC should be be DEEPLY proud, I know I am.

Thank you

parents for sharing your youth,

youth for sharing your time,

friends for following along.

Tonight my sleep will surely be DEEP!


Since this was my first mission trip I didn’t know know what to expect, but I’m so glad I came. Today our group visited an urban farm and helped weed/clean up an empty lot. This lot is going to be used in the future for immigrants and refugees so they can continue some of the culture that they once had.

After then working on the farm, the group I was in went to an assisted living home. There we played games with the residents and then had a dance party/sing along with them. It then became aware to us that one of the residents had be crowned Ms. Missouri at the Senior Beauty Pageant.

We then ended our day by going to Karen’s House and eating dinner there with the residents there. For the last thing of the the day we visited the Gateway Arch. We took pictures there and watched the sunset.

~Ella Sinn

Hump Day

🎈🎉Celebrate Good Times,

Come On! Let’s Celebrate! 🎉🎈

🕶Kyle & The Gang have much to celebrate in STL today on this momentous occasion marking the twelfth year of the birth of Mia Jeannine Schiesser. 1️⃣2️⃣🤱🏼

🎸⏰We celebrated morning wake up with The Beatles speaker meticulously placed under the Birthday girl’s bed…you say it’s your birthday, Mia?

🍩 We celebrated breakfast with a flaming World’s Fair donut, song, balloons, and streamers.

🏠We celebrated an organization that provides support and long term (2 year) transitional housing for victims of domestic violence. Our mad cleaning skills and HGTV Hillary & JoAnne transformed a couple apartments, now ready for their next clients.

🦵We celebrated news from the doctor that one of our own, who was injured in a wheelbarrow accident at an urban farm, suffered only a bad bruise, no break or tear.

💬💔We celebrated a safe place for brave discussions as we delved into prejudice, racism, and the history of the Delmar Divide.

🐖🍝We celebrated STL BBQ visiting the famous Pappy’s. They have a quick and efficient process to serve the long lines in the picnic like dining area. Man there are a lot of smokers! And, Kyle celebrated the birthday girl that doesn’t like BBQ by bringing her spaghetti!

🎭We celebrated the Arts at the historic Muny theater in Forest Park and celebrated with Cinderella that because… (we are) building up impossible hopes….things are happining everyday, It’s possible!

⚡️💨We celebrated the safety provided by our super power storm shield as severe thunderstorms blew over and around us (much like Detroit) allowing us to enjoy the performance with only a drop!

🍺 I celebrated (surviving) day 3 with an ice cold cider! Actually, that didn’t happen, but wouldn’t it have been nice? Maybe in my dreams tonight…

😒😬😴As expected, we are weak, weary, and grumpy after day 3; yet we have served much, learned much, loved much, and have so much to celebrate as we rest up for our final day of service!


The name of our BBQ joint is a tribute to the late Jim “Pappy” Emerson. He was our brother, uncle, friend and mentor.

Pappy kept things simple. He loved the outdoors and he worked hard. When people came to visit, he tried always to provide an atmosphere for great food and good times. A perfect description of Pappy’s Smokehouse today.

Tuesday’s Reflection

We learned. We served. We saw God.

And we won a fooseball tourney!

Fortunately, my plan, Kyle’s plan, and God’s plan synched fairly well today. Yet, at the end, I’m still completely exhausted! This time it’s because I was England’s Team Captain and we WON the Human Fooseball World Cup! While I had solid midfield skills, with Matthew, it was truly our goalie and our strikers, including GCC’s very own Sidney, that rocketed us through to the finals and onto victory!


Anyone who has ever volunteered in any capacity will probably tell you that they are blessed beyond measure when they give of themselves. This mission trip is no different. Even though you’d think I’d expect it from experience, I continue to be amazed that they people we are here to help, help us. The people we are here to serve, serve us. The people we are hear to teach, teach us. And no doubt, God is in the midst of it all.

God was in Peggy, the wonderful 77 year old that wrote a grant 12 years ago to fund flower gardens at St. Agnes Senior Apartments. She maintains the vast flower beds and landscape around the property but needed some help due to a recent concussion. She spent time walking the entire yard with us, teaching us about various flowers and weeds, sharing stories, and giving instructions. Then, she worked along side us weeding and pruning. And, her sidekick was a little dog Joey – the most precious white fluff!

We learned. We served. We saw God.

God was in John, a resident at St. Agnes, that was happy to meet some Hoosiers, and knew more than a thing or two about Indiana geography. He shared stories and encouragement, particularly with our own Conner.

We learned. We served. We saw God.

God was in Annie, the pastor and Director of Amen that graciously led us through a discussion on poverty, and walked us through a simple illustration of how a minimum wage job page may not cover basic necessities. We read from the Bible how God teaches us to share with those in need.

We learned. We served. We saw God.

God was in the super strong neighborhood guy that walked over to help Kyle cut down a large tree branch in the church parking lot. He was a man of few words. He was not asked or expected to help. But, he did.

We learned. We served. We saw God.

God was in the Reverend that thanked the man for helping with a cool bottle of water on this scorching afternoon.

We learned. We served. We saw God.

God was in Kyle and Jeff as they took patience and time and offered extra care to our youth that weren’t feeling 100% and were beaten down by heat.

We learned. We served. We saw God

God was in Clayton, the business owner of Human Fooseball, who jointly hosts a weekly community evening with Oak Hill Church for the neighborhood. He and his wife designed and built the coolest rec center with extra large everything – UNO, Yahtzee, Soccer Pool, Checkers, Connect Four, Chess, Peg Board Game, and Fooseball. It was an intensely competitive Fooseball tournament that was 100% positive, encouraging, and respectful. He commanded respect from all the neighborhood kids (and ours) by listening to them, seeing them, calling EVERYONE by name, and providing a safe, fun, collaborative environment.

We learned. We served. We saw God.

God was in each of our youth as they played with kids, fed babies, played games with seniors, pulled weeds, watered flowers, picked up trash in the alley, went beyond their comfort zones, supported each other, stuck together, played games with their entire group, shared their joys and how they saw God moving in STL.

We learned. We served. We saw God.

GCC would be proud – not only of the service work our youth are doing, but also in their growth and what they are learning and gaining as

we learn, we serve, and we see God.

Peggy told me about a Ziggy cartoon that inspired her to plant the garden at St. Agnes. It was about flowers making up for all the ugly in the world. I don’t need to tell anyone how much ugly is in the world, just pull up your newsfeed, read the paper, turn in your radio, or watch the TV. But, I do want to tell you – our youth are the flowers, adding beauty to the world, sharing God’s love in the midst of all the ugly.


This afternoon we went to a human foosball building. We walked into this room with a bunch of games that were life sized like foosball and chess. There were a lot of people we didn’t know but ended up talking with them and making new friends. We played a tournament of human foosball and my team didn’t get very far, but it was fun and the team that won was England. It was a really fun night, and we met really nice people.

-Lauren Goodyear