The Pryor Times

March 27, 2014

Not the regular Spring Break trip

Staff Writer
Cydney Baron

PRYOR, OK — Over a thousand Pryor residents have opened their door to teens spending Spring Break in Pryor.

A group of nine high school students from Grace Life Church in Alabama agreed to spend their break doing outreach on behalf of Grace Life Church in Pryor.

The opportunity was extended to students in ninth through 12th grade.

While other teens are making their way to sandy beaches or snowy ski slopes, these young missionaries are hitting the streets of Pryor.

“We’re going door to door twice a day, this is our time to help one of our church plants with community outreach,” said Alabama pastor Steve McAlister who has taken groups to help out church plants in Texas, Iowa and Canada.

“This is  one of the best spring break mission trips we’ve had, we’ve visited over 1,000 homes and we’re going to more today,” said McAlister.

Two of the students have been on outreach trips like this one before, but for most it’s a brand new experience.

The teens say Pryor is receptive, friendly and polite.

“We had one really sweet older lady that is in critical condition. She let us pray with her, and she gave us all crotchet crosses,” said 16-year-old Kalli Slay.

“We’ve also met a few people who said they are new to town and looking for a church home,” said Anna Grace VanBuren, 16.

“These kids stay up late and get up early,” said McAlister. “We’re representing Grace Life here in Pryor when we’re out there, so we’re inviting people to visit the church. We’re also offering to pray for individuals or simply give them some encouragement.”

While Thomas Martin, 18, joked that it seemed 95 percent of Pryor has a dog, and a couple of the girls wished it was warmer, the group said the trip has been even better than they expected.

McAlister said Pryor is more friendly and receptive than some other towns the group has visited.

“In the van this morning a couple of the girls already said they can’t wait to come back again,” said Tammy Berryman,  one of the adult sponsors on the trip. “I personally feel so blessed with these young people. They are all wanting to seek the Lord and do what’s right.”

Berryman said she has been encouraged by the students love of Christ, and passion to serve.

“One of the highlights of the trip for me was getting the opportunity for us to minister to those sweet girls at Thunderbird,” said Berryman.

Early in the week, the group visited Thunderbird Youth Academy.

“This is such a great, unique group of kids. They love each other and they love the Lord, that’s making for a great trip,” said McAlister, saying he’s blessed to see the teens’ unity and like-mindedness.

Grace Life Church Pryor’s pastor Derek Melton said it has been a great experience.

“I think it is so awesome that a group of high school students that don’t know us came out here with a passion for Christ and a love for a local church,” said Melton. “They were willing to come to the unknown and do some outreach, and spent their spring break doing it no less.”

The visiting group includes: Berryman, Noah McGuire, 17, Thomas Martin, 18, McAlister, Anna Grace VanBuren, 16, Slay, Isaac Rodriguez, 17, Luke McCarley, 16 and Tayler Daniel, 16.

Grace Life Church, Pryor, is located at 110 E. Graham. For more information visit www.gracelifepryor.org.