My group was sent to Soaring Wings Ministries in Northern CO. We helped mud, tape, and sand (drywall) the new addition that will eventually house a homeless family. We also made blessing bags and handed them out to people in need in the Fort Collins area. The Blessing Bags are bags that are filled with personal hygiene items, a pair of socks, non-perishable food, a pen, a pad of paper, and a Bible tract. Handing out the bags and homemade chocolate chip cookies was the most rewarding part of the week. The people were very appreciative. It was also rewarding to see the youth (and adults) in my group change our perceptions of the homeless community.
The person who I worked for was named Ed, and the group was called Soaring Wings Ministries. We helped Ed with some daily needs because he can’t breath in dust because it will hurt his lungs. We also helped mud and sand a new addition he is adding on to his house for the homeless people to live in. We also stained a pergola. We also made blessing baskets for the homeless. We gave them socks, deodorant, tooth paste, tooth brush and other essentials. I think making the blessing baskets was the most fun because I helped the people who were in need and those who needed it the most, more than me.
You have probably heard of being tired, but a “good” tired. The “good” tired is when you go to sleep with a smile on your face. I can’t honestly say that happened every night on the mission trip, but it happens when I think about it now.
I was teamed up with four 16 year-olds from the other church groups that joined us, Allie, Makala, Alex and Drew. They were from Pella, IA and Evansville, IN. We were one of two teams that helped at “Soccer Without Borders.” It was a soccer camp for refugee and immigrant children who have an interest in soccer and/or just having fun. Alex, Makala, and I worked with 4th, 5th and 6th grades. Allie worked with the Jr. High grades and Drew worked with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades. The kids we worked with were all very good with us and each other. We had kids that were from Malaysia, Kenya, and other places all over the world. The night before we started, Coach Zach from “Soccer Without Borders” told us that we could not be very overt about our faith and evangelizing, but that the kids should see Christ in us.
At soccer practice, Coach Zach often had us all sit in a circle and review his rules of soccer. The ones I remember are that we were: speak English; respect one another; listen to coach; and have fun. I was often humbled by how many languages these kids spoke when they were helping a new kid get into the group.
It was soccer in the morning, and then lunch for us all. After that was reading class. All of us in the crew got to work with kids and books. I was again amazed at how well some of the kids read. The day ended with recess time outside.
The 16 year-olds often gave piggy-back rides to the small ones (even the girls). We only worked with them for four days, but the kids became quite close to the crew. I do believe that the kids could see Christ in us. I also remember that Jesus said’ “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40) In that way, we could also see Christ in them.
It was a sad, quiet ride back to the host church on Thursday after we finished our last day with the kids, but there were smiles through the tears.
I worked at Easter Seals which is a place where special needs adults can go play games, hang out, and have fun. As we were there it was our job to play with the adults in the morning and then in the afternoon to clean up from the day by sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, and organizing. It was such an awesome experience because the littlest things would make them happy. Like picking up something they dropped, playing a game, helping them with a puzzle, or even just saying hello and having a conversation would make their day.