Summer Missions Trip – Philadelphia 2012
JULY 30, 2012 ― DAY ONE YOUTH MISSIONS TRIP
Praise the Lord, we arrived safely!
After six hours in the van and about an hour spent at rest stops, we arrived around 3:30 yesterday afternoon. Almost everyone had a bit of difficulty adjusting to the beds last night, but we all woke up this morning ready to spread the Word. We began the day with what is known as “Urban Plunge,” where we split into groups and walked through one of the less better off parts of town, Kensington Avenue, with the mission to brighten someone’s day. All three of the groups met fantastic people who they spent plenty of time talking with. Afterwards we went to a Salvation Army center and helped check in children returning from summer camp. After a short break for lunch, the group headed to the Lighthouse, a school/summer camp for elementary school children. We’ll be visiting the Lighthouse every day Monday-Thursday, meaning we’ll have the chance to build on the friendships that we began today. This has been a great experience for us already, and we’ve barely begun!
Dane Street Church Youth
JULY 31, 2012 ― DAY TWO YOUTH MISSIONS TRIP
Today started out with a visit to the Inglis House which is a an assisted living home for physically handicapped people. All of the people living at the Inglis House are wheel chair bound by different causes. We were able to help out by doing odd jobs and running practices for their version of the olympics.
Through interacting with the residents, we were able to gain a new insight on the lives of a handicapped person. Most of the people there were excited by fresh faces and extremely happy just to have someone to play or talk to. A woman with cerebral palsy, Diane, had written a collection of pieces describing life in the Inglis House and living with her condition. She was very kind and eager to tell about what she called the “Soap Opera” life in the community.
After the Inglis House we had lunch in the park which came with an interesting interruption (Is there a SNAKE IN THAT TREEE?) and then headed back to the Lighthouse summer camp. We all split up into different rooms to play and talk to the children. The children enjoyed climbing on the boys and smearing them with glitter and braiding my hair.
After dinner at a Thai restaurant, we went to central Philly to deliver Hands of Hope bagged meals to the homeless. We split up into groups, using the food as a way to strike up a conversation with someone and hear their story. Those willing to share helped change our perspective on homelessness and what needs to be done about it.
After a long day we are all tired and ready for some relaxation (and catchphrase!)
See you soon
August 1, 2012 ― DAY THREE YOUTH MISSIONS TRIP
Today was more of a relaxed day in which we toured the inner city. We started off going to Christ Church and got a nice lecture from the tour guide. The church, which was founded around when the city was founded (315 years ago!) STILL has services today. They haven’t missed a Sunday service since the church started. They still used the original candle chandelier for every wedding held in the church! We sat where John Adams used to sit, and Ben Franklin’s pew was not far away. After that we stopped at the Betsy Ross house, but decided not to go in. On the same street as the house was the original Quaker meeting house. We did go in here, and learned about how Quakerism originated, and what the house was used for. It was huge and we got to sit on the benches that were there when it was built.
After eating lunch, we roamed the streets of the Central area of the city, and threw some pennies on Ben Franklin’s grave (he originated the saying “A penny saved is a penny earned!”). We had a long discussion in the park near it while those who packed lunches ate them. We discussed how our denomination is different from Quakerism, and what we would like to do in Beverly after having gone on this trip.
We then headed over to the Lighthouse for our last afternoon with the kids. They certainly are energetic, and a lot of work, but they were happy to have us there to play with them and it was truly a blessing to interact with them. They had experience with the CSM volunteer, so they knew we were leaving after today, but they still did not want us to leave.
As tonight was our free night, we got to choose where we went to eat. So we went to a local Chili’s, where we were very thankful to have something to drink other than tap water, and at the end of the meal we all shared a chocolate cake and ice cream desert to celebrate Marina’s birthday. (At the beginning of the day we even got all the groups at the housing site to sing happy birthday to her!) She turned 17 today.
Today was overall a more fun day than we had for the past two days. It’s back to work tomorrow though!
August 2, 2012 ― DAY FOUR YOUTH MISSIONS TRIP
Today we started off by going to Saint John’s hospice and serving food to the local homeless, people out of work, or people that just needed a meal in general. Luke and I both delivered water pitchers to tables with empty pitchers. Nick was the person who refilled each of the pitchers of water. Marina and Lizzie both set up trays for the people coming in, and Susie and Ali both put the food on the people’s trays. Jake, Leah and Tina all collected trays of empty food. After that we headed down town towards the art museum and the library. We were each given a dollar and we were supposed to explore the homeless issue more, so we bought a cold drink for some of the local homeless and we all went to the library and studied up on books on the homeless. After leaving the library a good majority of us started walking toward the cathedral. The cathedral was very beautiful with lots of colored windows and gold plated statues of Jesus where we stopped to pray. After that we used our money to buy a couple of men some bottled water. After that we headed towards south street with lots of unique stores, including the one we went to for cheese steaks. The food was very good. After that we headed to the end of the street towards the Delaware river where we had our final debrief, which we talk about our day as well as the week afterwards, then we headed home(CSM head quarters) to clean up.
That was our day, see you soon.
The youth ministry at our church is thriving. We have a great group of teenagers who are dedicated to loving God and loving people, and we always have fun in everything that we do. We have times of learning and times of laughter. We have times of service and we have times of silliness.
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