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Life Lesson in Service for 5th Grade Students

December 16, 2016
By Dan Wickline, 5th Grade Teacher

Each year in December the Fifth grade class gets the chance to visit local missions in an effort to become more familiar with the ministries that are at work in our community. This year we visited The River Bottoms Church with Pastor Ron Brasier, The Twin Cities Rescue Mission with Roger and Linda Vaca, and the Salvation Army Depo courtesy of Pastor Carlos Souza. The class got the chance to tour each of the facilities and listen to the principal people tell the story of how they got started and/or what they are doing now in the name of Jesus Christ to make a difference in our community by helping the poor, the widows, and the orphans.

These are local missions doing kingdom business in our own neighborhood, and our kids are being exposed to what Jesus would be doing if He were alive today. It is significant to note that none of these facilities accept any government money because of the strings attached, and all are supported through the generosity of other Christian givers. Also, there are often opportunities for students to participate in helping out with various events and activities.

At The River Bottoms Church we met with Pastor Ron and his wife, Renee, and learned about their efforts to do something for the homeless people living in the river bottoms. Their location is next to the levee off of Market street, and they began in 2006 by walking up and down the levy area reading the Bible and handing out food. Local businesses and churches have donated land, supplies, and power to their ministry and it continues to grow. They hold church services every other Saturday at their facility and maintain an extensive warehouse of donated goods, some from military connections the ex-Marine Pastor Ron has, which are dispersed as needed. We heard numerous stories of redemption and of people turning their lives around through the power of Jesus Christ.

Twin Cities Rescue Mission is located off of 14th street in Marysville also just across the levee. The mission serves primarily men and houses up to 50 at a time in their dorm rooms complete with shower and laundry facilities. First the students were treated to a lunch of pizza, doughnuts, and soda! Afterwards, we toured their facility and learned they serve breakfast and lunch prepared by Michael and his kitchen staff daily. Each morning is a Bible study with Roger and before each evening meal a local minister preaches the Gospel in the sanctuary for an hour before dinner at 7:30. The mission is currently expanding their facilities as new housing for the homeless has been put up on the lot next door increasing the need for their food services. We dropped off donated jackets, stocking stuffer gifts, student made truffles, and Christmas cards for the residents.

The Salvation Army Depo is located in the old train station in Marysville below the Fifth street bridge next to the levy. The Depo serves families and single mothers in need of housing and direction. We were led by Rocio, Marilou, and Lisa, a caseworker, answered questions at the end. They have single rooms for families and couples, as well as some dorm space. The cases at the Depo are to get people involved in a program that teaches them life skills so they can get back on their feet and support themselves. The focus on life and job skills also includes promoting “Salvation” through Jesus Christ, ultimately the only source of power to cause real change.

Students were moved by their experience and came to realize the blessings they have and the work being done by Saints right here in the Yuba/Sutter area.