Oklahoma City Mission Trip 2024 | Update #5

June 8, 2024 | Kathy Smarrella

By Kathy Smarrella 

Currently, our team is on the bus, just now beginning to drive out of the OKC area toward home. We’ve decided to drive through the night (thanks to our awesome bus drivers, Jim and Ivan), so that we’ll get home a bit earlier. our 15 hour ride will hopefully include lots of needed snoozing. :) 

Today was an awesome final day in Oklahoma City. The youth of City Center have been gifted bi-weekly tickets to RiverSports, a very unique outdoor facility that includes rafting, tubing, giant slides, rock climbing, and much more. And, for this week, they gifted our team with tickets as well! 

So, after our devotional time, some debriefing with Jed & Julie, and making some amazing lunches for everyone, we paired up our volunteers with their kids and hit the RiverSports area hard for several hours. It was SO. MUCH. FUN. I am pretty sure our volunteers had as much fun as all the kids. Relationships that began earlier in the week were solidified and some sweet moments happened. I was (along with a few others) tasked with taking pictures throughout the day. It was so much fun to be a witness to our volunteers encouraging kids to do things that might be a little hard (going up the giant slide that shot STRAIGHT down was scary for some). Hearing them cheer the kids on blessed my soul. They represented loving brothers and sisters all afternoon, and I’m confident the kids felt the love and fun today. 

Sunburned and worn out (in the best way possible), we returned to City Center, got cleaned up, packed, and then had a wonderful final time with Jed & Julie and a couple of their staff. We talked about notes we wrote at the start of the week about what we were nervous or fearful of about the trip. And it was awesome to hear how God alleviated those fears and helped so many of us gain understanding of and love for those in situations different from ours. Several were anxious about our personal interactions with homeless folks, and how God helped them to see them as people made in the image of God, jus like us. Dugan shared that he was concerned that he might not be “fully present” on the trip—but from day one, hearing the testimonies of Jed & Julie and how God birthed City Center, he said, “I was in and I was here.” 

After sharing those experiences, we had the opportunity to encourage Jed & Julie and their ministry—they’ve been doing this for 8 years and it can be hard - we wanted them to know that God is using them and blessing them in mighty ways. Their ministry has an impact—and we are leaving inspired and motivated. We shared with them that City Center feels like “home” to so many—it is a refuge and that is so very clear and so very needed. They have persevered and we are so grateful to see the results of their perseverance. God is surely on the move here in Oklahoma City. 

Thank you to so many of you that have prayed for us this past week. Those prayers matter and our amazing week is, in large part, due to your prayers. We can’t wait to share our stories of how God met us here! 

God bless you all.  




Back to all

Subscribe to the Missions Blog: