Saturday, July 21, 2012

Minneapolis Day 5: Friday

Sorry about there being no blog yesterday, it has been a long and exhausting two days, but days that have been great with many highs and exciting stories. Our last day of ministry, saying good-bye to people we've made relationships with, praying for almost 3 hours together, and a day of relaxing at America's biggest mall. Our last few stories are below, thanks for all your support and prayers.


Being a senior yesterday was my last day serving with fumc at a youthworks site. It’s a bittersweet moment for me realizing that I’m leaving behind so many memories and that I will be making many more. I have made so many great relationships with these people and I have learned so much. Although my service here is done I hope and pray that I will be able to find somewhere to serve. God gave me talents and I know I need to put these talents to use for him.
These last 4 years I have been able to work with different forms of kids clubs and it has always been very easy for me to work with kids… Except for this year. The place I served at this week was called, “Hospitality House.” There were at least 100 kids there so it was extremely difficult for me to connect and have one on one relationships with them. The first day we had learned about serving and that everything we do can be considered a service to God. I was so down on myself because I felt like I was making no impact on the kids and I felt like I wasn’t do anything. I learned that although some of the things I did were not tangible and visible, just my presence was a service.
This week I was able to have Brian Craig Gordon be one of my youthworks leaders and I am truly thankful for him. He taught me that no matter what the situation or who I was serving that I am called to love. I truly did my best to love as hard as I could and that just by showing love in every situation I could hopefully make an impact on somebody. I am thankful for all of the youthworks staff this year, Mike, Holly, Diana, and Brian. They were some of my favorite youthworks staff and even though this was a hard mission trip it was a great one.
-Issac Schaffer

This week, I got the opportunity to serve at a nursing home.  This place, Redeemer’s Residence, was centered around the elderly who were unable to communicate fully or travel throughout the residence fully.
Now at this point, I would like to warn those who are reading this with a meal in hand, or those who are weak in the stomach, but my most prominent story of the week is a little crappy… We (Alec and I) were called to help a resident “get to her room”. Funny story: she was already at her room.. We got there and saw her crying because she was afraid no one was coming to help her. We walked her into her room to help her get into bed, when she decided she needed to use the restroom. To keep the story short, I lost at rock paper scissors, and had to give her a hand. By the time we got her into bed, Alec and I next to ran out of the room.
Now, while this story has a considerable amount of humorous content, it did actually shape Alec and my week, by opening us up to the randomness of the jobs we had to face this week.
-Andy Patterson

Currently my eyes are half open and Andy, Troy, and I are chatting about the week. Coming into this week I was extremely perky and had a vision for the whole week. My worksite for the whole week was a transition shelter for the poor and homeless called “Mary’s Place”. This tiny little building has turned into a three building complex with more than 90 apartments for families. Our main job was to entertain the kids while their parents would work with the staff to find jobs and work on daily life skills.
More than 40% of the people living in this complex are Somali refugees. Most of those kids couldn’t speak English very well.  We had to use a lot of hand gestures for communication. We have also had a lot of kids who know English perfectly well who refuse to understand us. Despite the challenges, I cried my eyes out saying goodbye to these kids. I could spend all night telling my stories with these kids, but I will just say that it was an amazing experience and one of the most challenging weeks of my life. I am grateful that I have the access to all that I have after seeing the excitement in these kids’ eyes over the smallest things that we think little of such as a new shirt or a bottle of bubble liquid.
I am so grateful for the friends that I have made in this youth group and the experiences that we have shared and will share in the future.
-Jacob Stebbe

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