As our Motown Mission comes to an end, and I reflect on the week, my head is exploding with “s” words…
😥SWEATY – our service work was almost all manual labor, outside while wearing pants, jeans, khakis, scrubs, but NO yoga pants!
☀️SUNNY – for a season that has had more rain than Seattle and a forecast that wasn’t promising, we were blessed with a sunny week and no full on rain…just a brief storm that literally blew by us on Belle Island.
👃🏼SMELLY – a whole lot of people sharing close quarters on the 3rd floor of an “air conditioned”?!? building built in the 20s after a day of work & play.
😴SLEEPY – lights out isn’t crazy late for HS youth, but the days are long, the heat can be exhausting, and the mornings come early.
👭SHARING – we shared nearly everything, not only with our GCC crew but also about 70-80 others from various churches. Sleeping rooms, showers, meals, chores, buses, cars, tools, gathering – is all to be shared. And we also shared our experiences, thoughts & memories – that is what creates bonds.
😖 SALTY – when you mix all of the above together for a solid 5 days, people get a little salty… patience and grace are a bit harder to offer as the week wears on.
🥽SAFE – I always felt safe everywhere we went. Detroit has a bad reputation that is doesn’t deserve. There is a high police presence. The church has 24 hour security. We had a full work week with only a couple very minor injuries. We’ve had and pray for safe travels.
♠️ SPEED – the youth reintroduced me to a favorite card game of my childhood. And, I learned a new awesome card game, Mao.
🤕 SORE – whether it’s an aging body, sleeping on plywood, or a week of manual labor, I am sore and I am not alone. My shoulders feel as tight and solid as concrete chunks found in a deserted lot.
🛏 SOFT – my own soft bed is calling my name to sleep with a soft mattress, soft pillow, soft blanket.
🚿 SHOWER – while it’s a luxury some don’t have, and we were fortunate to have decent size, clean, hot showers available to us. I’m looking forward to a long hot shower at home instead of the basement. And I can even shower at the top of the hour!
🥪 SANDWICHES – we had sack lunch sandwiches every single day. We served sandwiches at NOAH and made sandwiches for Operation Find and Feed in Indy. To many, sandwiches are a luxury and welcomed nourishment for the body. For me, I’d be happy if I didn’t eat another sandwich for weeks.
📱SMARTPHONES & SCREENS – while they are still evil and the games are annoying, we would not have survived the week without the
instant communication among the adults, alarm clocks, music, social media, the blog, and maps constantly rerouting us around the confusing streets and detours.
🏃🏽♂️STEPS – we all have high step counts this week from climbing up and down all the stairs if nothing else. However, 2 youth have far more as they diligently stuck to their HS XC coach’s mileage assignment and ran 3-4 miles every.single.day in the HEAT of the afternoon, AFTER a full day of manual labor WORK! Kuddos XC Tigers!
🧼 SOAP – we went to a fun little store, City Bird, with nice Detroit souvenirs and two teenage boys each bought a bar of fancy scented soap. Did you hear me…scented soap?!? Maybe it will undo the stink!
🚬SMOKING – I’ve inhaled a bit more second hand smoke than I’d like (which is anything more than none) and a fair amount of it is now legal in Michigan! Yikes!
🏁 🇫🇷SIMILAR – everyday I’m more and more amazed at the similarities I’m finding between Detroit and Indy all the way down to populations and the Georgia like street downtown to the museums, art and creepy basement bathroom like Paris.
😱 SURPRISE – this week has been full of all kinds of surprises and the most unexpected has been the city itself. People here are proud of their city. I’m the 313’s newest fan!
💬 SAYINGS – when you spend time with a group of people around the clock there are always funny sayings that come out of it…they may not make any sense or be the least bit funny to others, but they can be roll on the floor funny for us…downtown Michigan, are we in Canada, no yoga pants, are those jeans or khakis, have fun with the police, what kind of chicken is on a chicken cesar, am I peeing, boob boob, all hail the chief, have a nice day!
🐿SQUIRREL – God Bless her and her unending to do list. Enjoy your murky green pond, painted windows, & poison ivy. We are out!
🤪SILLY – it’s not just the silly things we say, it’s also silly things we do. Spending a week together and largely away from screens helps us let down our guard and expand our comfort zone so we can be silly- it seems perfectly normal to raise your arms and punch the air in the middle of a card game.
📆SCHEDULE – Motown Mission runs a tight schedule. Logistically, it was necessary and helpful (minus the recycling) and helped get the work done. Generally, I like a set schedule but that’s not usually how we roll…and it was refreshing for us to break away from the schedule Friday and just be us spontaneously in downtown Detroit.
💌SERMON – this mission trip we had large group evening gatherings rather than our typical evening worship and reflection. Friday we got back to us and had a meaningful reflective time for mini sermon and reflection in the park on the banks of the Detroit River. This trip brought us together as we grew in service, knowledge, awareness, and faith.
🎚SCRIPTURE – Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
🎹SONG – God is on the move,
On the move today. I see your generation standing on the truth.
In each and everyday saying God is on the move. Anytime the Gospel stirs a searching souls and someone says send me, here I go.
~God on the Move 7eventh Time Down
💒SERVE – we served together and worked along side people of Detroit to reclaim and beautify their city. We mowed, weed whacked, raked, edged, planted, painted, peeled, bagged, transplanted, pulled, carried, installed, dug, fed, watered, cleaned, prepared meals. We set aside a week of our summer to serve as Christs’ hands & feed.
🙏🏼SELFLESS – the youth were selfless as they willingly walked through this week being led by Kyle, the adults, the counselors, the partners. Being led by God. I’ve had the privilege to share 2-3 mission trips with most of these youth and their growth is amazing. Yes their lives are different than our generation, but isn’t that always the case. Knowing these selfless youth are our future gives me hope!
💪🏼SUPPORT – when we come together and support each other, we can accomplish so much more. This was demonstrated taking an extra project Friday making sandwiches so Kyle might have a bit of rest Saturday and by knocking our last service project out of the park as a well oiled machine working efficiently and effectively when we were our most worn down. We are called to care well for one another and that we did…for Geist and for Detroit.
🏡STAY – Stay where you are. Find your own Calcutta. Find the sick, the suffering, and the lonely, right where you are — in your own homes and in your own families, in homes and in your workplaces and in your schools. You can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have eyes to see. Everywhere, wherever you go, you find people who are unwanted, unloved, uncared for, just rejected by society — completely forgotten, completely left alone. ~Mother Theresa As we return home, we are reminded that you don’t always have to go on a mission trip to serve… we can serve and love and smile and support right where we are – in schools, activities, sports, work, church, and home.
🙊SILENCE – there wasn’t much of it during the week which can be challenging for an introvert like me. That’s why I find peace in the late night hours typing away my reflections as everyone else slept. Sleep is restorative and restful but so is silence.
😊SMILES – smiles show love, care, support. Smiles can change your mood or someone else’s. Smiles warmed our hearts and were etched in our memories this week. Now, we eagerly anticipate smiles of loved ones welcoming us home.
💗SHARE – thanks for allowing me to share my stream of conscious thoughts and reflections from the HS mission trip. It’s been a pleasure to serve along the youth and adults of Geist Christian Church at Motown Mission 2019
SHINE your light.
SET the world on fire with your love!