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On Sunday evenings, a volunteer bus driver from Matthews UMC appears with a smile to pick up Miriam Rodriguez and up to five other youth in the Monroe area. Just as Jesus took his ministry to the streets, this simple yet important act ensures that these youth have the opportunity to be a part of worship and allows them the time to build relationships with other teenagers.

Miriam shares “I’ve lived my entire life in Monroe with my family who are members and worship at Matthews. Three years ago, Pastor Roldan invited me to attend activities with the Youth Group. I was very shy but stepped up to attend.” After having a great time, she now attends most Youth events. Miriam credits her involvement with the Youth Group for helping her express herself with others, especially her family. “I am not shy anymore.” Her involvement with youth and counselors helped build her confidence – something every teenager should have.Miriam light

Miriam states, “I’m so thankful that God has given me the opportunity to be part of the Youth Group. I enjoy getting to know people, making new friends, and inviting others to be a part of the experience that changed my life.” In addition to Sunday Youth Group meetings, Miriam is a part of the Wednesday Night Bake-Off Group, and has attended mission trips in Alabama and Philadelphia. The Youth Group has afforded her a different outlook. “What we have is so much more than what others have. I now see more clearly and know that many people need God.”

Miriam and a number of MUMC members that attend CCH worship shared during the 2015 Leadership Connection how grateful they are to feel welcome and a part of one big family here at Matthews UMC.
If you are interested in supporting this growing group of youth that live in Monroe and would like to be added in the rotation of volunteer bus drivers, please contact Joshua Marshman at joshua@matthewsumc.org.