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Mission Trips

Our mission trip program brings students from around the country to our facility for one week. During that week students serve in a variety of capacities in our many ministry programs. A typical day includes a morning of service projects in the community and in the afternoon they participate in what we call love projects. Love projects focus on relationship based ministries such as visits to nursing homes and hospitals, prayer walking, and many more. Each day also includes an intentional bible study taught by our ministry leadership teams focusing on service and God's calling for us in life.

With hundreds of young youth in attendance throughout the summer, our Mission Trip Program has become a wild success. Over the span of 8 weeks young people from all across the nation descended on St. Louis to help with dozens of projects in Carondelet and beyond. With help from our community partners, youth are able to experience many different areas of ministry around the city from food pantries and construction projects to outreaches for the city's homeless population.

This wide array of opportunities allows youth to see what an impact a small group of intentional people can have, and it has challenged them to take what they learn home with them. Since leaving many youth have gone home to start similar ministry programs in their own communities.

Want to learn more about Mission Trips?
Contact our Mission Team Coordinator Evan Barthel at evan@extremefaithstl.org

Story

I remember one mission team in particular who came in with a lot of apprehension and the burden of troubles in their home lives. Some of them had issues respecting and trusting God's plan and some struggled to give up control. Throughout the week, the leaders on this trip were almost sure that the youth would get nothing out of the trip and would not grow at all.

On the last day of the trip, we had a meeting with the team to help them set up ideas of things they could take home to impact others' lives. When I asked for ministry ideas, hands surprisingly shot into the air. This team had grown so much in the week that they went home with plans to begin 5 different ministries to impact lives for Christ. Then, that night, we put on a small service for the team leaders to wash the youth's feet and send them out knowing that God called them to serve others. By the end of the night, youth were bonding with each other, even other youth on the team who they barely knew. But most of all, they went home determined to change lives.


Evan Barthel,
Mission Trip Coordinator

After School

Our Tutoring Program is a natural extension of our summer education program and focuses on the same core subjects of Math, Reading, and Character Development. With an average grade level improvement of 2-3 grade levels, our hands on approach has proven that one on one work with young students can make all of the difference. Our dedicated volunteers help students with homework using methods designed with input from local school leaders. We have formed multiple partnerships with area schools to help provide students with the best possible results.

Our after school tutoring program is currently averaging around 25-30 students per session. Sessions are offered two days a week and we are currently looking at expanding the program. Demand has grown exponentially since the program’s inception in 2013. Many students from our summer camp end up attending the after school sessions, so it allows us to strengthen our relationships with the children and their families. The tutoring program is a great way for us to stay engaged with the young people who are the next generation of leadership and change in our community.

Day Camp

Our summer camp program offers a safe and inviting environment for children ages 5-11. Children engage in activities centered on educational enrichment and personal growth. Our program is a strong mix of structured teaching and recreation, which ensures that students grow in both mind and body. By continuing education in subject areas such as math, reading, and character development, our program emphasizes and supplements a child’s traditional schooling and strengthens the foundations they need to move forward.

Our summer camp has become wildly successful with nearly 40 children actively engaged in the program. With the help of community volunteers and a dedicated staff, our children improved an average of 2-3 grade levels in core academic areas. Children also learned about community service by helping us with our community garden and other fun projects for residents in the neighborhood.

Story

It was amazing to see God break into these kids’ lives this summer. One of the kids came in to day camp the first week unwilling to participate and unwilling to talk with any of the staff members or other kids. Throughout the summer his participation increased and he began to open up. By the end of summer, he was having full conversations with everyone and actively participating in class. He even began to participate in craft class and got really creative with his projects. Seeing this child of God grow over such a short period of time was one of the most wonderful things I have ever witnessed.

-Karli Spalinger,
Day Camp Coordinator

Community Events

In an effort to build community and inspire people, we offer regular community events aimed at bringing people together. These events offer opportunities for relationships to be built that lead to people being inspired. All our community events are family friendly and free of charge to the community. We also use community events as a stepping stone for people to learn more about Extreme Faith and the programs offered. The average event hosted brings together over 100 people to have fun and get to know each other. Examples of past events include movie nights, community BBQ, water olympics, and many more. Anyone interested in helping with this is encouraged to contact Bill Grueninger.

Service Days

In an effort to build community and inspire people, we offer regular community events aimed at bringing people together and offering opportunities for relationships to be built that lead to people being inspired. All our community events are family friendly and free of charge to the community. We also use community events as a stepping stone for people to learn more about Extreme Faith and the programs offered. The average event hosted brings together over 100 people to have fun and get to know each other. Examples of past events include movie nights, community BBQ, water olympics, and many more. Anyone interested in helping with this is encouraged to contact Bill Grueninger.

Food Pantry

Our community center is home to the second largest food pantry in the City of St. Louis serving over 10,000 annually. With a network of volunteers from the community and churches in the area our food pantry runs on a nearly zero budget with no paid staff members. Through partnerships with local restaurants we have been able to provide food at a quantity that we never could have dreamed of. Organizations such as St. Louis Bread Co and Longhorn Steakhouse have become regular donors to the pantry. This gives local businesses a chance to reinvest in the community that has helped them become successful.

It is our dream that our food pantry program would become so much more than food for people. We are currently developing a program that will also offer job training, life skills, as well as help in very basic areas such as help with government programs and healthcare. We believe that the proper allocation of resources in targeted areas (specific to the needs of the community) could have lasting effects for every other program we have here at Extreme Faith.

Story

One day, a member of St. Trinity witnessed something that struck her heart. While walking she witnessed a woman eating food from a dumpster because she was so hungry. She could not stand the idea of someone being that desperate in her own neighborhood. Over the following few days and weeks she organized some friends of hers to begin helping these people. Fast forward many years and the Food Pantry at St. Trinity stands as the second largest food pantry in the City of St. Louis serving over 1,200 people each and every month. Extensive partnerships with area churches as well as local businesses have helped the Food Pantry become a breeding ground for innovative change in the way we help those around us.

Leadership Development

Our student leadership program is truly the reason Extreme Faith exists. Starting in the summer of 2014, we have been developing a program in order to realize a dream for our community. By intentionally investing in young teens in the neighborhood, our student leadership program has a dedicated staff member who meets regularly with these young men and women and plugs them into the different programs at Extreme Faith. If you come to visit us you will find student leaders helping teach classes in our summer camp, helping lead mission team service projects, and even leading teams as we go downtown to help the city’s homeless population.

Through participation in our different ministries, student leaders get mentoring from ministry leaders as well as our student leader coordinator. This is vital to the eventual goal of Extreme Faith because these young men and women are the next generation of leaders in their neighborhood. A dream realized for Extreme Faith would be seeing these young individuals running the community center without our help, investing in their own community. The results have already been amazing. In less than 6 months, the student leaders have helped push for and started both a youth group and regular confirmation classes. We are so proud of all they have accomplished and can’t wait to see where God takes them in the future.

Story

From teaching math class, to dealing with the discipline issues with the children during the summer Day Camp, the Student Leaders have become an essential role in how we run the Day Camp. When the young children see their teenage neighbors whom they look up to helping with Camp, those Student Leaders become role models for those young children far more than we ever could. I see God�s hand in this because our continual goal for the Student Leaders is for them to take more and more responsibility and leadership roles unprompted (but, encouraged nonetheless) by Extreme Faith, in the investment and care of their own community. And that�s exactly what is happening here.

Ben Brynildsen,
Student Leadership Coordinator

Internships

Interns are actively engaged in our summer camp as well as our mission team programs during the summer months and participate in other capacities during the fall and spring. Intern duties range from teaching classes in our education programs to leading mission teams on service projects around the neighborhood. They also help with clerical and organizational duties in our office when ministry programs are not in session.

Our program teaches our interns the value of relationship based ministry and the impact it can have. With incredible success this program has become an indispensable part of staffing our leadership team. By constantly bringing in college age students from around the country we are able to draw on the knowledge and expertise of a wide range of students studying many different disciplines, providing us with a new outlook and approach to ministry.

Story

        I not only witnessed a change in my students, but also a change in myself. I started taking up a lot more responsibilities to ensure they remembered what they learned. I learned that when I did a fun lesson with a creative activity that required them to get up and move they would all want to participate and learn, even our students that didn�t cooperate well. I myself learned how to organize a lesson plan and follow it.

        The staff at Extreme Faith gave me the materials and knowledge to better improve myself as a teacher. They also were there for moral support. We would debrief at the end of each day to share and discuss ways we can improve. Working with an organization that knows they make mistakes and gives everyone constructive criticism is effective. Working with a staff that is not only friendly, but Godly, was the best experience I have ever had with kids.


- Katie Madras,
Summer 2014 Intern

Meet Our Staff

Executive Director
Kevin Mennel

Director of Outreach
Bill Grueninger

Director of Advancement
Brian Earll

Director of Support Staff
Alyssa Buettner

Coordinator of Mission Trips
Evan Barthel

Coordinator of Summer Camp
Karli Spalinger

Coordinator of Student Leadership
Ben Brynildsen

Coordinator of Tutoring
Shari Grueninger

Assist. Coordinator of Mission Trips
Jordan Dodge

Assist. Coordinator of Student Leadership
Matt Brynildsen

Welcome to the Extreme Faith Mission Trip Registration Portal

For Registrants - In Order to Register You Must:

  • Have a registration password from your Team leader.
  • Know what week your team will be attending.
  • Choose your week and fill out the online registration.
  • Print, Sign, and Return the 3 Forms on the confirmation page to your team leader.

Haven't signed your team up for a week yet? Want to learn more about Mission Trips? Contact our Mission Team Coordinator Evan Barthel at evan@extremefaithstl.org