Christus Victor

Making Christ Known

We are an Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) congregation growing in the likeness of Christ by:

Worshiping, praying, and studying God’s word;
Being together with other people; and
Acting in faith through words and deeds both inside and outside our church walls.

Youth Mission Trip 2017 - Cairo, IL

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2017 Cairo IL Mission Trip.jpg

In July of 2017, nine of Christus Victor’s youth, along with two adult leaders, spent five days in Cairo, Illinois on a YouthWorks mission trip.  While we were there, we learned a lot about the problems and issues in Cairo and the resilience and strength of this tight-knit community.  We spent our days working with Kids’ Club and Sports Camp programs for local children and doing some service work projects to help repair and beautify some homes and the church where we stayed.

The weekend of July 29 and 30, several of our Mission Trip team participants spoke about their experiences as the message during worship.  Check out the recording below...

Photos from Mission Trip Cairo 2017


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Thanks to Mike Gehring and Autumn Carney for their leadership and to the whole congregation for your support through financial contributions, prayers, and encouragement.


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Following are reflections from some of our participants:

Ryanne Barker:  Meeting the kids in Cairo was by far the most eye opening experience for me while I was there. Their kindness and excitement was so much fun to be around. Our theme was “the good life,” and it was taught to me through the town of Cairo. The whole community was like one big family.  They were so incredibly supportive of one another.  For example, during our week, there was one girl who had to be removed due to conflict.  Many of the kids were very upset by this and worried for her wellbeing, even though this child had scared them only moments before.  It was just one way that I saw how incredibly “good” Cairo was.  They had grasped the best of life and shared it with one another.  Even though the town itself was falling apart a bit, they were so GOOD.  It made me look at my own approach to life and re-evaluate it.  I don't think after our trip to Cairo that I'll remain the same.  The people showed me how beautiful this life is, and I want to take that and remember it always.  I want to think about our existence as good and purposeful – the way god made it.

Chase Bise: One event that impacted my life over the mission trip was that when you went to Cairo, just driving around it looks like if you run into someone they will be all mean and angry and that everyone hates each other.  But really people in Cairo are so nice and open, despite the poverty and broken houses.  Also in Cairo, everyone knows everyone.  Cairo is one big family.  Although sometimes times it may look rough and or the connections between the kids are looking bad, they will always be there for each other.  That was only one of the stories that impacted my life during the mission trip.

Logan Franklin:  Autumn, Chase, and I went on a run Thursday, an hour before breakfast, to see more of Cairo.  While running, we found a dirt path that branched off of the road and decided to follow it.  The path went downhill into a forest and eventually just turned into mainly grass and mud.  We kept walking and found a beautiful pond surrounded by trees and fields.  We stayed there until it was past time to head back for breakfast, just exploring and enjoying all of it.  When we left that morning, we only intended to run around a couple blocks, but we found so much hidden beauty instead. 

This is my first mission trip, and when I left, I was expecting to maybe play with some kids and help some people through manual labor, but I found much more.  The sense of community there is so powerful and I got so much more out of this mission trip than I ever would've thought.  Cairo is a community full of hidden beauty, and I'm proud to have been part of it for a week.

Ryan Kirby: During my time in Cairo, I experienced the good life in many ways.  For example, all the kids at Kids Club, despite many of them being in a desperate or needy situation, still managed to dress nice, and they were all happy.  I saw this especially in one kid name Latrell.  He lived in one of the subsidized housing areas, a very poor area, and despite that, he was so happy.  I am now starting to see the good life in so many other ways, and thanks to Cairo, I will never look at my life the same.  

Joey Tomaso:  How my life is going to be different coming back from this trip is having the experience of being an adult figure.  Trying to make sure those Cairo kids stay safe, responsible, and respectful was a LOT of work – especially when a lot of them are young.  But we managed to get through it and learned one thing: being the adult will never be easy, but it's the right thing to do, so the young ones are safe and happy.  To keep them entertained, me and some of the others played sports and other games with them such as basketball, keep-it-up, and color tag (I marked the boundary line in that one). Outside of gym-related activities, we played with LEGO's, read books, did arts and crafts, and on Friday, we had a "Water Day" where we all got wet on a very hot day. Despite the fact that it was hard to make sure they were safe most of the time, it was one heck of a ride for me.  And it sure was fun too.