The Immediate Impact of The Hartford Project
Just a few short weeks ago, 15 students and leaders from WEFC joined over 150 additional youth and adults in Hartford for a week of inner city missions called The Hartford Project. The week involved sleeping on the floor of South Congregational Church in downtown Hartford, experiencing simulations of daily life in the city, learning about how the gospel applies to issues of race and poverty, and serving with multiple ministries and non-profits that meet the needs of the Hartford community.
Our group was split into two work teams and mixed with students from other local churches, with whom we served throughout the week. One of our groups, with some our younger participating students, hit the streets to promote a block party called, “Love Wins” that was free to the community and sponsored by four downtown churches. They also spent time with kids in Hartford City Mission’s day camp, “Camp Noah,” and helped get Simpson-Waverly Elementary School set up for the next school year. The group with our older students completed some painting projects at South Church, cleared out an attic space, interacted with recovering addicts at Youth Challenge, and encouraged local children at the Salvation Army.
Kevin Rascius, who will be entering his junior year of high school this fall, was one of the students who participated in THP, and he says the week had a significant impact on him. Kevin said, “I really felt closer to God at THP than I have anywhere else before in my life, between the worship and helping in the community. My faith was strengthened enormously.”
It’s safe to say that Kevin speaks for the entire group in expressing the value of participating in the Hartford Project, and how it has impacted and grown their faith. This is a group of students in whom we at WEFC should take great pride!