Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Minneapolis Day 2: Monday

Well, everyone had their first day of working at ministry sites today! Quickly followed by a trip to the world market, fun for everyone today (I ate weird African food). Below are some stories from our students, enjoy. (And after Kari's blog yesterday, we thought maybe you'd like to see the fun room we're in).

Formerly having worked in “Kids’ Club,” starting off with the Kaleidoscope Kids (a summertime education center for 1st through 8th grade, Muslim-based) was quite a bit different from my (our, speaking on behalf of Troy, Lindsay, Brendan, Drake, Adrienne) experience with children. Being at a secularized learning center makes it quite difficult to fulfill the purpose of the “mission,” as our influence is limited to the children identifying us as Christians, little more. Regardless, I can comfortably say the children have definitely began to familiarize themselves with us, despite a hectic first day to the U of M arboretum (a field trip for the kids!)…
-Bobby Herron

This is the first mission trip I’ve done, so I wasn’t sure what to expect on my first day. I was at Mary’s Place, which is a homeless shelter, a place for people to get back on their feet.  Its founder, Mary Jo still works there every day, from its start in the 1980s, and just talks to people, asking what they need.  It is amazing to see the love she has for all the people, and how she is truly a gift to people in need.  She came and prayed with us before we worked and it really puts into perspective everything she does for God, and how He has led her to begin this truly awesome program! The facilities are really nice, and we all couldn’t believe that all their funding comes just from donations.  They give out so much, with their food pantry, just writing checks to people in need, and giving away clothing and personal items.  It is truly a blessing to see what Mary’s Place is doing for people! We worked (me, Kristin, Natalie, Spencer, both Jacobs, Kinna, Mr. Meeks and Mrs. Patterson) with the kids in the playrooms, while their parents talked with advisors and tried to find jobs.  The kids were really great, and they just wanted us to play. While we were getting a tour of the building, some of them followed us and waited for us to go play.  They were so quick to just come up to us and give us hugs! We took them outside and made a slip n slide with a tarp, hose, and dish soap. They were so grateful for just being able to play, and they did everything in their power to get us wet! J after lunch, we went to the kids center and there were several rooms of toys for the kids, and it was great to see that they still get to be kids, despite the hard times their families are going through.  I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings, and I’m so excited to work with the kids and worship God with my service to these awesome children! J
-Amber Kline

Today was absolutely fantastic! My worksite was not nearly as labor oriented as most of the sites that I have worked at, in previous years I have worked painting or cleaning or building (Troy likes that for me, because physical labor isn’t my strong suit). This week I am working at a site called Urban Ventures that does outreach to all sorts of people. My group works specifically at the Colin Powell Youth Leadership Center, which hosts the Learning Lab program for 1-8th graders. The facility and PRAISE GOD!! Has fantastic air conditioning. We started the day with a brief orientation that was very uplifting and highlighted how truly wonderful this program is. The kids at Urban Venture come from the Phillips neighborhood which hosts the highest level of crime and gang violence in the state. The kids are no strangers to gun shots or all night partying and often don’t sleep. The Urban Venture program gives them a healthy environment to play and work in and also provides a great learning environment for these children. Many of them are academically behind (the whole experience throws into sharp relief how blessed we are to go to school in Hamilton Southeastern Schools). The volunteers in the program facilitate by working with a child or children that are our buddies. My buddy is Kevin, and he was given to me because he is “problem child” and needs special attention. I focused on Kevin today and we did everything together. Including but not limited to, playing Twister and Apples to Apples, and doing a skit (yeah God really threw me a Home Run this week!!)  Kevin was never a problem the whole day, he is really a sweet little dude who wants to achieve the best and I hear that’s because he has a great mom. He is great and I hope to make a difference in his life this week, because he has already made a difference in mine. Please keep Kevin in your prayers that he can keep focusing this week and be as successful as possible.
-Dustin Meeks


liz simmonds said...

Praise God for an awesome Monday!

Ginny said...

great stuff... :)
Praying for you all and Dustin's friend Kevin. You are definitely being Christ's hands and feet!!!