This morning, Group Two worked at Our Daily Bread serving food for people with and without homes and spending time connecting with them. It was really a really meaningful experience for me because of the connections and conversations I had with people and because of the beauty of the life testimony of the
director Rob. His testimony is not one of moving from homelessness to stability, but moving from being a successful lawyer to a convicted Christian who has completed changed his life to live out the gospel, beginning the ministry and opening his home to men who are experiencing homelessness. It was a fascinating conversation.
This afternoon was a free afternoon for our group. I was able to procure tickets to the Holocaust Museum, but everything closed because of the snowstorm, so we walked to Union Station, rode the Metro, and walked to the National Mall, all in the snow. We've only had to amputate a few toes and fingers, but I'm sure Jonathan's, Jace's, and Leah's families won't mind...
3/21 ( Group 1 )
Today I got to sleep in early, because it snowed and our job got canceled. Our leader substituted our job with cleaning the church. Our leader Molly split up our group into three groups. David and me; Leah, Anastasia, and Mhina: Jack and Daniel. Molly said who ever gets there chores done first get a treat. David and I, had to find, windex, clorox wipes, and paper to towel’s. Luckily David and I knew where all of these supplies were. So when it started we ran around the building (Sorry Mom) trying to when and get these supplies and when. Of course, since team 3 had me, we won. In the end we had to take the cleaning supplies and clean up the church. Once we were done we went outside to have a snowball fight. That was pretty fun, and the ice was soft so it was easy to shape. I have to say I was pretty good at it, but the ice froze your hands to where you couldn’t feel them. Later we went to the train station and then walked around the city. It was pretty cold, and I couldn’t find my gloves.
Joel ( Group 2 )
Today I woke up at 6:50. Yesterday we had to wake up at 4:20, so I got more sleep. Then we went to the organization called “ Daily Bread” where we fed breakfast to homeless. But since it was Wednesday, we had a speaker today for Sabbath school. I had made lot of friends, even though they were old and homeless, they are still humans. I’ve talked to one guy, he was reading his bible, I decided to talk to him. As I was talking about Bible, there was this another homeless women who was keep chuckling at us. I am certain that it was because she was jealous that I was not giving attention to her, but either way, it was kind of irritating. But I managed to stay cool and have a good conversation with him. We talked about God, what our favorite bible verse was, what he think about Christ, and so on. I made a friend named Dallas as well. He was constantly drinking coffee. He was born in South Dakota. I made a lot more, but I cannot tell you all about it. Shout out to Rob, the rapper dude who has a son that will graduate soon, and more who was nice and gracious. Later Ive realized that it doesn’t matter if you’re poor, you can still have good connection with God and still be kind towards others. Because happiness is a choice. Then we went to play snowball. We were not going to have anything for afternoon so we were going to the mall. We went there, got food and walked around. Play with snow. Ride the metro. God is Good. This day, even though it was tiring, was an amazing day. Also David left early to meet his family and came back right now ( when I’m typing this blog ). Even though we ate dinner at the mall, some of us were still hungry so we went to get Popeyes. Also, Mr.Fox bought lot of food for homeless, at the mall and at the Popeyes as well. I’ve given some change, I felt good about myself. J God will always look above and guide us. Whether we are homeless or Rich. Maybe being too rich is a curse or a delusional thing that satin uses to make us separate more from God. God you are always Good, and let us have a good mission trip, so we can be more thankful and love you more. For your love is so great. God thank you again, and we love your everlasting love and most importantly for being our God. Amen.
The newness of the first day has worn off and we now feel at home, more or less, with our new living arrangements. There is something nice about communal living – boys in their quarters and girls in theirs. We come together often to laugh, shout, play around, worship and learn about how God’s hand plays a part in every facet of our lives. The noisy, rambunctious feelings tempered by the quiet time that punctuates various moments of our day. Mr. Fox does a great job giving the kids their space, but also calling upon them to reflect, to journal and to share their thoughts. This trip has confronted us with a reality that few, if any, can relate to: being in a period of homelessness where even your next meal or bed is not guaranteed.
Snow was on everyone’s minds as half of us woke early to attend a breakfast that would begin at 7:30 AM. The earliest light of dawn did not bring the promised snow, but that was soon to change (six inches fell before it was noon). When we arrived our church, Rob was there to greet us. We would later learn that Rob was a D.C. lawyer by training but somewhere along his journey, God intervened in his life and in his heart and created a deep, abiding interesting in helping the poor. What began as a coffee between Rob and a man experiencing homelessness turned into a refuge for D.C. down and out individuals to come, fellowship, eat, stay warm and feel human again. Rob does this with help from organizations across the U.S. like SBJA. The kids really do make a difference.
Brian Poti and I were door greeters and we had the pleasure of meeting James who was the usual door greeter. When he learned that he’d be joined by two “youngsters”, he beamed with joy. James carried his life possessions around in a small dolly with two wheels. I thought this incredible as I considered my own possessions and the space it would occupy. On the very top of all these possessions was a small box with precious cargo – a kitty that he sustained with bread and food gathered along the way. That was it. James was the most grateful person you could have imagined.
Tomorrow morning and throughout the day will bring more of the same experiences. By the end of our stay in D.C. we will have visited a half dozen or more shelters or organizations confronting homelessness in America and, if we’re at all successful, most if not all of us will feel totally powerless to make a difference. Mr. Fox counseled all of us that these would be typical and natural thoughts. When you get to the point where you feel useless to make a difference, God truly is able to fill our lives and accomplish his goals through us. Time to throw off the shoes and place them really close to the heater. Tomorrow begins a new day with new friends to make and meals to prepare. In the meantime, there is UNO to play and worship and reflections on a day well spent.
Written by students on SBJA's mission trips to Washington, D.C., in 2018 and to Costa Rica in 2017.