If you’ve been loafing around your house like me and have had nothing better to do than watch your friends’ status updates appear on your news feed for the past…I don’t know…15 hours or so…you may have noticed a few catch phrases. Just little things. Little things like: Butt Chisels, Bingo Bango., or perhaps a strange word you didn’t recognize and was not in your trusty Miriam Webster’s dictionary:


The word Yission is a very serious combination of two things. 1) The place of York City, Pennsylvania and 2) Mission- A word usually associated with a group of people going to do the Lord’s work among others.

So just to summarize: York+ Mission= Yission.

(Yes, I know that the word does not equally distribute letters from both words, but good riddance, Yission is just a lot more fun to say than perhaps Yorission or Misork…or heaven forbid, Orksion, which just sounds like something J.R.R Tolkein would write about.)

But in all seriousness, the York Mission was an experience to remember, as always. Groups from three churches: Yorkshire UMC, Asbury UMC, and First Presbyterian Church of York, combined their forces of brains, brawn, knowledge of poison ivy plants, expert Bob the Builder attitudes, and even the occasional creative expression through inspirational Katy Perry songs…to bring the good news and good work of Christ to the city of York.

Smaller teams of youth and skilled adults were sent out to over 20 different worksites this week, doing everything from renovating kitchen floors, to restoring entire roofs, to heavy lifting at the food bank, to building chain-link fences, siding an entire house, to planting stakes in a community garden. In fact, the city took so much notice of the kids’ work that a front page story was featured in the local newspaper about the great work being done in the community! (HOO-RAH) Additionally, we had a very special team of people this year who documented all the work being done. This team went to every worksite, interviewed the people we met, took photos of the work and told the stories of the impact and hope being spread throughout York. This team printed a newsprint everyday, which also happened to include nearly impossible word searches, and confounding word scrambles as well as cartoons involving Rebecca Black and My Little Pony.

Safe to say, the newsletters always made my day a bit better 🙂

For those of you who may have missed out on the fun of this week…here are just a few highlights that I would say made our week…a bit unique:

1. Jesus- He’s the difference between doing something just to do it, and doing something with a purpose in mind. I think a lot of us learned this week that we can’t do the things we do on our own strength. God showed up so many times and the kids gave testament to that every night. Whether it was finishing a job that seemed impossible, befriending people who cursed them at first, leading a team for a job they knew not how to do, or not falling off a slippery 2 story roof angled at 60 degrees…God was so faithful, and the reason we were able to do all we did…and do it with the compassion and hope of Christ.

2. Butt Chisel-

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The first night of the Yission, we were privy to an old school 80’s instructional carpetnry video, explaining how to use various simple carpentry tools. When the adult leaders were asked to come to a meeting, the Salt ‘n Lighters thought it would be in our best interest to attend so we could help as best we could.

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And we watched this video. Then the adults left and the kids came in. Little did the SnL team know that they would have the distinct honor of viewing this film TWICE. And through our dual viewing, got to see not once but TWICE the tool called..the Butt Chisel. Perhaps its a juvenile thing to laugh about, but when the voiceover on a video says Butt Chisel that many times in a row..you’re just bound to remember it. For added effect, the adults laughed harder about it than the kids originally. After that night, butt chisels became a running joke. Until Brandon Keeks’ team…actually needed one.

3. Chocolate Pompeii- Think Brownies. Now, add peanut butter spread on top. Now add little houses constructed out of more brownies and peanut butter and marshmallows. Now think about gummy bears. Now think about gummy bear people running away in the peanut butter from a MOUNTAIN CONSTRUCTED OF BROWNIES. Now think of Peanut Butter lava. Got it?

Yeah. It was good.

4. Bingo Bango- These are the words you use anytime you want to make a really hard task seem really easy.

Example:How on earth are we going to tear off this very slanted roof without falling off or falling through?

Answer: You get a harness and some galvinized nails BINGO BANGO got yourself a new roof.

How we gonna do it? BINGO BANGO. It’ll get done.

It’s basically the Dave Meanor version of Hakuna Matata.

5. The finished projects- I guess it’s kind of hard to see when you are in it, but I was just blown away by how many amazing things these groups of young people and adults did. We watched a video last night of all the the before and after pictures, and it was so much more than I even anticipated. There were houses that looked brand new, yards completely cleaned out and fenced in, new floors, new roofs, new staircases, entire houses repainted, or a whole ramp built. There were youth who went on roofs in harnesses, spent hours up a ladders cleaning gutters, groups that spent days nailing siding into a house, or putting in a drop ceiling in a house that was hot as can be. These groups would not take no for an answer or let the word impossibility enter their heads.

And I am blessed.

So to the lovely people of the Yission. Here’s to you:

Here’s to singing Mulan songs all together on the last day. Here’s to the quarter game and thousands or encouragement notes. Here’s to chocolate pompeii and hibernation pudding, to excellent pulled pork and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Here’s to yellow houses that we thought were blue and pressing through a whole week of work with poison ivy. Heres to broken trailers and paint cans, ukeleles and mandolins. Here’s to going out to do a job when you had no idea what you were doing. Here’s to bedtimes stories and singing Rebecca Black in the mornings. You all will be sincerely missed until next year. Thank you for everything.


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