Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Misphah and Shen. He named it Ebenezar, saying , "Thus far the Lord has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

Friday, July 31, 2009

The People

Why would 28 high school students and 13 adults take a week off of work and pay $675 each to travel to inner city Detroit on a mission trip?

For several reasons.
One of them being:
The People.

41 people is a large group so we were broken down into smaller groups of 2 adults and 5 or so students. Each day we woke early and had a tight schedule to keep. One of our "assignments" was called Servant Evangelism.

Servant Evangelism is one of my favorite parts of our missions trip, it's pretty simple each team is given X amount of dollars and have to spend it on someone, some group or some place. The point is to serve with no strings attached, because that is what Christ has called us to do.
Mark 10:45 says: For even the Son of Man did not come to serve, but to serve,
and give his life as a ransom for many."

Our small group had Servant Evangelism right out of the gate on Monday morning. At first we were stumped, only 3 of the 7 of us had been to Detroit before and our first leads on people to serve ended in dead ends. Sunday evening we got together and prayed, we trusted that the Lord would make clear our path on Monday morning.

Monday morning came and we felt a peace about heading out to a day care we knew about even though we couldn't get a hold of anyone there. After arriving we were let in and you can imagine their surprise when we said we were there to buy them any supplies they needed. The students in our group immediately began to connect with and play with the day care kids and I talked with the teachers and made a list of needed supplies.

-a real basketball
-jump ropes
-coloring books
-food for their play kitchen
-toys for children under 12 months (they had none, I hope you heard that: this day care had NO toys for children under 1 year of age)

After making our list we headed out to Wal-Mart and began to gather the supplies on the list. When we checked out we were thrilled to learn that we not only got everything on their list but we came in .48 cents under budget!!

This was the grocery cart with food we got to go along with their kitchen.

One of the many balls we purchased.

Christy and this little girl connected right away.

James played basketball with this little guy. The smiles. I hope you notice the smiles!

Even the older kids loved the under 12 months toys.

Mary sat in that spot playing with the kids for what seemed like forever.

Each afternoon we ran a Big A or Vacation Bible school for the kids. We held it in Cass Park, a neat park that has neatly planted trees and paths that once were magnificent I'm sure. The park now is home to many homeless people who either sit on the benches all day or lay in the grass on blankets. Trash covers the ground, shattered bottles and a broken light pole remains untouched. I have no pictures of the homeless because we did not want to treat them as tourist attractions and the days we had face to face contact with them we left our cameras so not to tempt them. When you're homeless anything of value is worth getting.

The largest Masonic Temple in the world towers over the area, you can see it in this picture.

The bus rides to and from the park were a blast! See the smiles!
I let the kids use my phone to take pictures and they had a blast!

Playing games in the park.
Each Florida students was instructed to find a Detroit student, the one-to-one was great! Each day you'd hear the yell, "Find your Florida friend, find your Detroit friend." Many of the students exchanged addresses with plans to bless these kids throughout the year with correspondence.

Another aspect of the people is the homeless. I mentioned their presence in the park and they lined 3rd Street as if a parade was getting ready to start. Their blankets draped over fences and abandoned playgrounds. Each night one of our groups joined forces with the Detroit Rescue Mission in serving a free meal. Our group ended our trip on Friday night with this privilege. We served 238 meals during the 5:30pm serving.

The man who runs the kitchen, "Q", allowed the guys to go out in the dining room and seat the people and serve them their food. For safety reasons the girls had to stay in the kitchen. I scooped the rice, Taylor the hollandaise sauce, Christie the chicken and Mary the bread. It was an amazing opportunity to serve these people.

Before we started we were allowed to try a piece of chicken, it was quite tasty I must say!
So the People.

The People are one of the reasons why we travelled 1,100 miles and paid close to $700 of our own money.

The people are the reason we'll go back.

The People are the reason I ask all of you to pray for Detroit.

Each person in the pictures above has a story.

They all have a future ahead of them that may not be as opportune as we think all Americans have. The children of this area of Detroit have a 62% chance of dropping out of high school.
62%, that means they have a better chance of not getting a high school education than getting one. Many students know no one who has a high school diploma.

So I ask you to pray for the people of Detroit.

Stayed tuned for more posts on this amazing trip.


Superhero Mom said...

Wow! I'm emotional right now! I had to stop twice to wipe my eyes and blow my nose! I prayed for you guys every single day and reading this just blesses my socks right off! I love those kids too! Thanks for sharing...looking forward to more!

Allison Reynolds said...

Awesome...there are so many to reach and not may to do it. Blessings on your family for extending yourselves out to others.

Bev said...

I love that blog you shared on this misson trip. I prayed for all of you each day. Our youth will remember this experience and it is one of the stepping stones in there lives as God's servants. Thanks to all the adults that went and I know were blessed.

Anonymous said...

Hey check out this video of my friend who spent a couple years feeding the homeless in Cass Park and preaching the Gospel to them. Christ came not just to serve but to seek and save that which is lost, and to call sinners to repentance! The video is shot about a mile away from Cass Park.

God bless you in Christ Jesus.



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