June 19, 2016
What an amazing day! We started the day with a good meal to prepare our bodies for some hard work as we helped lay concrete for the new dining hall. As part of the process we move the large rocks and buckets of dirt to help fill in the bottom layers before topping it off with concrete.
A rain shower cut our workday short and allowed us to take a respite for lunch. After a nice siesta we headed to a nearby church where we got to play with the local children. What a treat! The language barrier proved to be but a small challenge as smiles and laughter were plenty.
Our particular small work group talked saw God in various ways today:
- helping out with vacation Bible school
- God answered our want for rain
- blowing bubbles with a little girl
- communicating and playing games with local children without being able to speak Spanish well
- accomplished a lot of work before the rain came
- working together to pass buckets of concrete
Mitchell Austin, Davy Rayner, Michael Shropshire, Will Hull, Anna Catherine Pandos and Andrew Glontz
I saw God in almost everything we did this week, but especially in the people we met and worked with. I loved how grateful and happy most of our neighbors that were struggling with homelessness were to see us helping. I thought it was so amazing that even in their situation, they were so thankful and kind.
Overall, this week was an awesome week and I learned so much about life in general from so many different people. I learned that I might have been on this trip to help others but they certainly helped me by sharing their stories and
June 17, 2016
We made it!! It’s hot but all is good! We were excited to meet all the new people and children at VIM and play some games of volleyball, soccer and basketball with them. We are in the wonderful presence of Oscar Jr and Roger. Roger is the bomb…we are excited to work with him this week!
We are looking forward to stretching our faith and experiencing new things!
The hammocks are beautiful and actually really comfortable. After a good night sleep we will be able to have a great day of work. Be on the lookout for more from us tomorrow!
– Natalie Raygor
Today we got to be in God’s garden and see God’s miracle workers.
I saw God through the earth while digging the potatoes for those who need at a community food bank. It was fresh and nourishing food for people eat.
I saw God as I learned about Medshare through the kind world healers as we sorted and packaged medical equipment. It was wonderful to know that this medical equipment was saving people’s lives throughout the world with all the perfectly good equipment that was being thrown away in the United States.
God’s magic had been so many places throughout this week that I can’t count. God is the light through which us youth have seen and experienced through remarkable healing, love, and transformation.
June 15, 2016
Today we went to Urban Recipe* and Gateway**. Both of these experiences moved me.
At Urban Recipe I saw Christ when everybody was working together to get food for them, their families and other families. There were no problems and everybody respected everyone else.
At Gateway, I saw Christ in a woman’s story. She had worked there for three years and she was homeless for four weeks when she ran away from her father after he called her names from the pulpit in church. This was one of the worst things to be in their church. I respected because she was trying to help people who might be in the same position as she was in her childhood.
Then it rained and we had to run back to the church.
After today I feel like I understand that there is a story behind every person that shaped who they are and where they live.
* “Urban Recipe’s food co-ops for low income families provide a unique alternative to many traditional food-centered ministries. Under our model, each family we serve becomes a member of a 50 family food co-op that meets every other week and is convened completely by the members themselves. Because of the consistency and sense of ownership the model offers, our co-ops not only provide food security for those in need, but are a place where relationships are formed, dignity is affirmed and community is strengthened.”
** “The Gateway Center is designed to serve as the “gateway” to the community continuum of care that helps individuals move out of homelessness. GWC provides over 330 places for men who enter into programs geared to address the underlying reasons for their homelessness, such as unemployment, addictions, mental illness or domestic abuse.”
June 14, 2016
Day 2 of Middle School Mission Trip to Atlanta With eyes wide open: I saw God in Martin Luther King Jr’s life and everything he stood for.
Martin Luther King Jr wanted freedom and respect for ALL people. I saw God in the people that we served breakfast to. God uses every person and loves every person the same.
June 27, 2014
1) In our bible study at Mercy Church we rewrote Psalm 23. We meshed as a community of believers our understanding of scripture into this.
The Holy Spirit is our shepherd as we walk through the system. We will gather together as often as possible to eat together and enjoy one another’s company as church so all will feel included. We will practice being good, healthy community inside the church so we can better be good, healthy community outside the church. We will also sing together to praise God and become more unified as a community.
2) Psalm 23. This is the version we read in our bible study
The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. He lets me rest in grassy meadows. He leads me to the restful waters; He keeps me alive. He guides me in proper paths for the sake of his good name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger because you are with me. Your rod and your staff — they protect me. You set a table for me right in front of my enemies. You bathe my head in oil; my cup is so full it spills over! yes, goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the LORD’s house as long as I live.
3) the Homeless Psalm was written by Lynda Baker. Linda was an active part of the Mercy Church community. Linda passed away about a year ago but wrote this before she passed.
The system is my shepherd, I lack everything that I need. The system makes me lie down on the concrete. The system tells me that I am not good enough for its water. The system slowly destroys my soul. Yea, though I daily walk through the system’s wastelands, the system still tries to destroy me. Their constant hounding and no sleep do not comfort me. The system doesn’t do anything for me, my cup is surely dry. Surely hatred and intolerance shall follow me all the days of my life in the system. And I shall dwell in the house of lack forever.
June 23, 2014
This is the first installment of our summer youth mission trip series. The middle and high school youth will spend time this year in with our mission partners at VIM in Mexico and with DOOR in Atlanta. Please keep an eye on the blog for updates on their travels, their work, and the ways they see God’s hand and love in our world.
On our first day in Atlanta, I was already very moved. As soon as we turned the corner toward the church we saw lines of struggling homeless people laying outside. I was confused at first but soon learned the church lets them sleep there every night. They kept each of their spaces so clean and it was almost as if they had their own room. We began distributing sandwiches and came across a kind homeless couple. They sang us three songs, all about having trust in God. I believe God was truly shining through them that they had close to nothing and they knew God would provide. – Kate