June Newsletter: A month Spent with RippleFX

At the beginning of June, Taylor and I traveled to Aliquippa on a 4 day mission trip with 4 CAST Students from Early College High School and one college aged CAST member. As I reflect on our incredible time there, I think the highlights can be captured by this list:

  • A Port-O-Potty
  • A Pancake
  • A Pineapple
  • A Porch
  • A Prayer

The Port-O-Potty... when Taylor accidentally dropped her phone into a port-o-potty, there was some initial panic and despair. Against all odds, the phone was retrieved and, even more astonishingly, it still worked. This incident became a powerful reminder that even in the messiest and most unpleasant situations, there is hope for restoration.

The Pancake (as big as your head)...In a world that often seems chaotic and impersonal, small acts of kindness can make a profound impact. When John made a pancake for one of our students, it spoke volumes about the importance of being seen and cared for. This simple gesture of preparing a pancake "as big as your head" reminded us that sometimes small acts of kindness can go a long way in making someone feel valued and loved.

The Pineapple...In Aliquippa, a pineapple was given to Miss Annette, symbolizing Jesus in a unique way. Just like a pineapple, Jesus is sweet on the inside, embodying love, compassion, and grace. The pineapple's crown on top serves as a reminder of Jesus' kingship and authority. This gift became a tangible representation of the deeper spiritual truths, illustrating how Jesus can transform our lives from within and be the ultimate source of sweetness and strength.

The Porch...An important part of our time on the trip was prioritizing "relationship over work." Miss Annette's front porch is a sacred space in Aliquippa, where important connections are forged. It is on this very porch that one of our ECHS students, Zariyah, listened attentively as Miss Annette expressed her dream for new porch furniture. Recognizing the significance of this heartfelt wish, Zariyah has taken it upon herself to raise funds for this purpose. You can learn more about Zariyah's experience and contribute toward this cause in the article below.

The Prayers...one sentence prayers said each hour began to define a rhythm for our time in Aliquippa. For some, these prayers became an opportunity for them to step out of their comfort zones and pray out loud for the first time. As their words were lifted up, they heard themselves being prayed for by others, experiencing the power of communal prayer. This act of vulnerability and support created a sense of unity and deepened our connection with each other and with God. It became a transformative moment where we realized the significance of our own prayers and the impact they can have on themselves and those around us.

With gratitude,

Sonja White

Executive Director

While in Alliquippa our CAST Crew was teamed up with an awesome group of friends from RiverTree Jackson to assist Miss Annette with some yard work as well as cleaning up a backyard memorial for her late son.

It was an honor for all of us to spend two days getting to know Miss Annette and her husband Ron, lending a hand in the backyard and getting the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

After advertising to neighbor families about Saturday's Water Wars, trip leaders were prayerful about a water source because there was no place to get water at the park. Lets just say, the Lord answered our prayer for water...and then some! When it came time for Saturday's party in the park, there was not a dry t shirt in the crowd! As Nick and Dezmun carried yet another huge bucket from a friendly neighbor, our group was reminded that God provides...even more than we can imagine.

#CASTkids first ever Missions Trip

Aliquippa, PA

CAST kicked off the month with their first ever "missions trip"! This was such an amazing opportunity for four of our #CASTkids, Zaryiah, Nick, Dezmun, and Devine and College Aged CAST member Makayla to take the spirit of CAST to a whole new community. During our four days in Aliquippa memories and new friendships were made, existing relationships were deepened and students had the opportunity to grow in exciting new ways.

Did you know that the pineapple represents the "sweet love of Jesus"? Sweet on the inside and a crown on top! Our #CASTkids as well as all our our friends from RiverTree Jackson were excited to share the sweet love of Jesus with Miss Annette.

Saturday afternoon we had a well deserved break from the heat as our crew gathered in a local park to host a water war (complete with facepainting, snacks and basketball) with neighborhood kids! It was an afternoon full of fun!

Learn more about RippleFX's Aliquippa Mission Trips

For those interested in helping Zaryiah to rise the money needed to purchase porch furniture for Mrs. Annette, the button to the right will take you to the Caring and Serving Together "Donate" page.

A small act of kindness can have a big impact!

"Donating to help Mrs. Annette buy furniture is a simple yet impactful way to make a positive difference in someone's life. Furniture is an essential part of any home, and for those who can't afford it, it can be a source of stress and discomfort. By donating you can help provide a sense of comfort and stability to someone who needs it. Overall, donating or even sharing the message to help us raise money for the furniture is a small act of kindness that can have a big impact of Mrs. Annette's life." -Zaryiah Williams, rising Early College High School Sophomore.

Help Zaryiah raise funds to Bless Mrs. Annette 

A Special Thank you!

This month we also wanted to take a moment to extend a HUGE thank you to everyone who took the time to donate a graduation gift to the graduates within Project Kare's network.

Rising Up..Moving On was such a special afternoon to honor four extraordinary graduates!

Learn more about Project KARE

Wildside 2023

Wildside is a week-long camp for middle school students. Wildside is filled with off-the-charts fun and amazing opportunities to connect with Jesus.

This summer #CASTkids Alania Thorne (a rising HS Sophomore) took a chance on Wildside and decided to join the work crew despite not knowing anyone else set to be at camp!

Watching Alaina take on each day and new challenge without hesitation was one of the coolest things I have gotten to experience in my time leading #CASTkids. The Lord is doing amazing things through Alaina and I am honored to call her a friend. -Taylor, #CASTkids Coordinator

Wildside 2023 was incredible! We saw so many high school students step up to lead to make it an incredible week where middle schoolers could experience Jesus. As a former #CASTkid, it was especially cool to have Alania on our team. She is an incredibly hard worker, a natural encourager, and a joy to be around. It was so fun to watch her gain confidence and become an important part of the team as the week went on. It will be so cool to hear how Wildside 2023 continues to impact the students who were there is year. Our high school students stepped up to lead! Showing that they are not just the next generation but they are a generation making a difference in the world today. -Erin, RippleFX Girl Boss and former CAST Student

Although Wildside is an opportunity uniquely geared for middle school students, High School Students also have the opportunity to come to camp as "work crew" volunteers! This is a fun-filled opportunity for High School students to volunteer 10-12 hours a day for a whole week. The days are long, but the work is so rewarding when you look back at all the fun and most importantly..all the students who met Jesus at camp!

"Wildside...10/10. Would recommend!" - Alania Thorne

Learn More about Wildside!

CAST is excited to announce...

The Ron Wilkof Legacy Build


Habitat for Humanity

Please be on the lookout next month for your chance to sign up to link arms with CAST as we partner with the Hinton family and Habitat for Humanity.

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