Returning to a familiar location for a mission trip brings some real perks. This was our third year serving in the Edgewater neighborhood, so there were a number of well worn paths. Most of our students had been on at least one of the two previous trips, so they knew about the building we were sleeping in, how to get to the showers through the back staircase in the kitchen, and which way to walk to get to the Red Line. It also meant that many of our opportunities to serve were familiar: two mornings we were serving 150+ people at the food pantry ‘Care for Real’; we spent time at Cornerstone Community Outreach to serve meals to homeless folks; we spent an evening hearing about homelessness and visiting with some of the guys at the Cornerstone’s men’s shelter housed in Epworth United Methodist Church; we provided a meal to a group of women who stay at Sarah’s Circle, which serves homeless and at risk women.
But some of our opportunities to serve were new. We visited two different communities that care for retired people, one of which specializes in caring for people with dementia. We also participated in a little church service at an assisted living facility for people with mental illnesses that prevent them from living on their own.
You can see some pictures of our trip here, or read a quick summary of the trip from our leaders at Praying Pelican here. I can tell you that what those two things won’t capture was how proud I was of our students, who served everyone they encountered with the love of Jesus. They never recoiled or looked down on fellow image bearers who were different from them. They were patient and kind and present with each person they met.
It was a great week, and I am thankful to have been able to be witness to God working through our youth.
-Andrew Unger, Associate Rector and Pastor to Youth