Youth in Alcester Serve Locally and Globally
ALCESTER, S.D.-In the small town of Alcester, folks at the Nathanael Lutheran Church hope to make a small difference in the world. They believe it starts with their youth.
For over nine years the youth ministry at Nathanael Lutheran Church have been putting Mission Meals together. Every third weekend of the month, they dedicate their time to prepare and serve a homemade meal to the congregation and community.
“This is where they start to understand how important it is to help other people, help their neighbors. Coincidentally, quite a few of the kids I started with are also serving in the military right now, so I think they go it,” said Greg Yaeger, Founder of Mission Meals.
They help prepare the food Saturday. Then Sunday they set up, serve and clean up.
“It’s a great feeling, you know because at the end of the day when you can look out here and see everybody eating, everybody’s talking, laughing, you know, it’s just kind of a good feeling,” said volunteer, Jaxon Doering.
They also deliver meals.
“There are a lot of people who had surgery or who can’t get out of their houses and it’s something they look forward to,” said volunteer, Tori Rasmussen.
The skills these kids learn are meant to have a lasting impact on their lives.
“I think our real success is going to show up maybe 15 to 20 years from now when these kids are in their own churches, in their own communities and figuring out, ‘Hey, you know we started something way back in this little town of Alcester. I think we can do that here too,’” said Yaeger.
The kids efforts are already starting to pay off. During the meals, they ask for free-will donations. So far they’ve collected over $60,000. The money goes towards multiple causes both locally and globally like donating to help provide new water wells in Africa.
So far the group has served meals to over 16,000 people. February 17th was a special day as they served their 100th round of mission meals.