Hey everybody!! Liberty (sophomore), Peggy (adult), and Ashley (senior) here from the high school mission trip. Emily asked us to share some insights from our first couple days on the trip.
This year we are spending the week serving in Milwaukee. Next Step Ministries organizes the mission trip (www.nextstepministries.com), setting up our work projects, housing, food, and worship experiences.
So far we have enjoyed 2 evenings and 1 full work day at our site. God is already teaching and stretching us. Here are some of our initial reflections:
What surprised you?
(Ashley) I think the thing that surprised me the most was probably the sheer amount of energy and love that the Next Step staff have contributed to the experience so far. I was scared going in that I would have a hard time connecting and spending time with others but the staff has been very helpful in connecting us all.
(Liberty) The thing that surprised me the most was how friendly the people at our worksite are. When we were working the neighbors were very friendly. When we were working in the front, cars would drive by and honk their horn and wave to us. The neighbor to our worksite was very nice and let us use his electricity to power our tools.
(Peggy) I was surprised by how some of the rules and some of the things we had always done on Next Step mission trips had changed. So I guess I was surprised to find how comfortable I had become with routine. It made me look at our daily routine differently and with fresh eyes which I think was great after 7 previous trips. This was reflected in our first morning devo, “Are You Awake Yet,” which asked us to open our senses to see God in new and exciting ways.
What did you enjoy?
(Ashley) I have loved the interaction with both new friends from the Church and outside Church. I truly have seen love in every person I have come into contact with so far. At just our worksite we have created a great atmosphere of people all willing to help and contribute which makes me feel more confident to be myself in every way.
(Liberty) I really enjoyed meeting new people, both people in the community and people who I came on this mission trip with. I also enjoyed working on site and doing what I can do to help people.
(Peggy) James, the nephew of Shelby [the owner of our house], chatted with me for about a half an hour about his passion for composting and gardening. He shared how he is working to get his neighborhood to care about using the things around them to make their lives better. He had even built a great compost site out of pallets!
Where did you see God?
(Ashley) I saw God in the people I have met in the last two days, including my team, the neighbor to the house we’re working at, and our worksite leader (Mike). Everyone has been so kind and welcoming in each and every way.
(Liberty) I saw God in the people I have been meeting - the people in the neighborhood and the Next Step staff and the people on my worksite. Everyone is so kind and they are trying to help where they can. Even the people in the neighborhood help us out by letting us use their electricity and their bathrooms. Everyone is kind and friendly and welcoming.
(Peggy) I saw God today in the teamwork and energy the kids brought to our work site. They jumped right into new and challenging tasks and were very encouraging and respectful of each other while having a lot of fun!
Each night of the mission trip, Emily is going to ask a few other people from the mission trip team to share some reflections. Stop back to hear how God is continuing to teach us and shape us this week. Also, you can check out the Church’s facebook page for pictures and other updates. You can also leave your questions and comments for the mission trip team here.