Today was our last full day of ministry activities down here in South Chicagoland. It was a full one, so we have a couple of students who will share:
Hello everyone! I hope that everyone is having a great week! I just wanted to let you all know about what we are doing down here in Chicago! The first half of the day we went back down to Olive Branch, which is a homeless shelter. There, we split into three groups. One group helped out in the kitchen, making some meals. Another group lead a "mini VBS". This included doing some craft and playing some games. The third group sorted clothes for homeless people. After Olive Branch, we went to another church to go to a "mini Bible museum". There we saw and touch some old scrolls and pieces of Torahs. There were maps and water from the Jordan River. It was a very cool experience. It was all very interesting to learn. After that, we came back to New Community Church and put on the last day of our VBS. Today, we focused on "God made you to shine". We conveyed this message to the kids by playing games, doing some related crafts and through a series of short two minute cartoons. The kids had a great time, and they leaned a ton about the the Bible and God. It was very impactful to see the great change in the kids in just three days of the VBS. I am greatly looking forward to my final day in Chicago!
Today was a bittersweet day of ministry. We spent our last day at Olive Branch and working the VBS at New Community Church. The first two days at Olive Branch, I was with the group that ran a mini VBS with the kids in the shelter, but today I let someone else who wanted to work with the kids take my place and instead worked in the kitchen setting up lunch for the people in the shelter. The kitchen has a big opening that goes into the dining room where they were doing the VBS, and one of the girls yelled to me "Why aren't you working with us today? You're supposed to be with us," and it just warmed my heart. After I was done in the kitchen and joined the rest of my group in the dining room before we left, the kids came up to me to hug me and say goodbye and said they were going to miss us. It made me sad to leave, but I am so happy to know that we made an impact in these kid's lives in three short days.
For the three days of VBS, I lead worship and ran the crafts for all of the groups, so I didn't lead a small group. Because of this, I was worried that I wasn't going to get very close with any of the kids, but tonight being the last night, there were many kids who came up to me to say goodbye and thanked me for teaching them the crafts. It's weird to think that we are done with our last ministry day; it feels like we just got here last night, but after today, I can leave confidently knowing that God used me, and everyone else, in these kid's lives and in this community. I am excited for our recreation day tomorrow in Chicago, but I am dreading saying goodbye with the friends I've made from the church we partnered with from Indiana. Going home will be weird, and I will miss being with this team everyday, but I am looking forward to being back with my family.
As you can see, it's been a really impactful trip. We are looking forward to one last full day tomorrow.