Emily’s Story

Emily Shafer was brought up in a family which has been very active at NMCC, especially in regard to our youth programs.  She will be a senior at Daniel Hand High School in September, where she runs track and plays violin in the orchestra.  Emily also enjoys horseback riding and is a competitive jumper.  Her story illustrates how getting involved at church can play an invaluable role in shaping the way our young people look at themselves and the world around them.

How long have you been a member of NMCC?

All my life.  I was baptized here more than 17 years ago and have been coming with my family ever since.  Two years ago, I was confirmed.

What are some of the things you are involved in at church?

I am a junior deacon and a member of the Senior Youth Group.

What are your responsibilities as a junior deacon?

The junior deacons are viewed as role models for our NMCC youth.  We primarily participate in the Sunday worship service by lighting and extinguishing the candles on the altar, leading the call to worship and ensuring that the sanctuary is set up for the service.  We also welcome members and visitors, fill in as ushers and occasionally help serve communion if needed by the board of deacons.

Have you been on one of the youth group’s mission trips?

Yes, I went on one to a trailer park in Pennsylvania.  We helped paint and roof the trailers, as well as making other improvements.

What stands out most in your memory about that trip?

In one of the families we helped, there were two young children.  They lived with their dad and did not have a mother.  The 6 year old girl suffered from cystic fibrosis. We built them a wheelchair ramp.

They didn’t own a TV, a cell phone or most of the other material comforts we in Madison just take for granted. Even though they were very poor, they were the happiest and most grateful people I have ever met.  The kids were so excited to see us arrive each day and would come running out with their Barbies and radio and we would make up dances with them.  It was great to watch them having so much fun!

Why is it important for NMCC to sponsor mission trips?

There are people all over the country and around the world who need our help.  When you live in a safe, comfortable community like Madison, it’s easy to forget how hard life is for those who are not as fortunate.  I think God expects us to land a hand.

From a personal point of view, working together with the other kids on the trip really strengthened our bonds with one another and with NMCC.  We all got to know each other so much better and will always remember this shared experience.

How did the mission trip change you?

It gave me a totally different perspective on my lifestyle compared to the way a lot of people live.  I definitely made me think about how lucky I am.  Going on this trip showed me that I have the power to help change things, at least in little ways, for those who are less fortunate.  I think that knowledge made me a stronger person.

What’s the best thing about NMCC?

It’s almost like a small town.  Everybody knows each other and we have a good time together!