Sunday, December 28, 2014

Review: Teens Share the Mission

About the Book:
Pope Francis has called for an increase in mission - what does that mean for teens? The teens who share their stories all encountered God in a profound, real way. They found sacrifice, service, and joy - and met God in the people that they worked with and served. Through real stories of real missions, Teens Share the Mission leads teens to a deeper sense of what mission is all about.

The book especially points out ways to serve without traveling. As Britt Leigh points out in the foreword, serving those you know at home is just as valuable - and sometimes more awakening - than serving strangers that they won't see again after a week.

Teens Share the Mission is the perfect gift for teens who are trying to figure out why service hours are required, or who are nervous about approaching a new mission trip. A great tool for youth ministry, World Youth Day catechesis, and religious education.

Features & Benefits:

Reflection questions after each section
Foreword by Britt Leigh, author of Ten Commandments for Kissing Gloria Jean
Features stories by other teens about their service

My Comments:
To many teens (and let's be honest, to many adults) being "normal" is important.  Standing out as overly holy isn't seen as a good thing.  This book of stories/reflections is by "normal" teens -- you don't get the impression reading them that these kids are living some kind of non-social, overly pious life --who tell stories about their service to others both in the foreign mission field and during service projects here at home.  Talegria tells the story of painting a room fuschia because the homeowner claimed that all colors were beautiful and given by God.  Kymieal helped with Special Olympics and one of the paticipants noticed that Kymieal had trouble sittting still and mistook her for a participant rather than a volunteer.  Patrick saw real poverty in Peru and also saw that kids were kids and would play with whatever toy was available (or make what was available into a toy).  When Grace worked in Camden, New Jersey, part of the experience was feeding herself on the amount of money available to food stamp recepients--and shopping at the stores they used.  Each story is followed by a couple of reflection questions and those questions often ask for action.

If the teens in this book are representative of the kids in my kids generation (and I know some good kids in that generation) we'll be leaving the world in good hands.

I'd like to thank Pauline Media for providing a complimenary review copy.  It will be donated to my daughter's Catholic school where it will hopefully inspire the next group of teens.  Grade:  B+

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