Today we are spending some time with Kentucky Refugee Ministry. Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Inc. (KRM), is a non-profit organization, that is dedicated to providing resettlement services to refugees through faith- and agency-based co-sponsorship in order to promote self-sufficiency and successful integration into our community. KRM is committed to offering access to community resources and opportunities and to promoting awareness of diversity for the benefit of the whole community.
It never ceases to amaze me at the full-heartedness of the youth. We began the day at Kamp Kessa, which is a horse farm that assists people with developmental disabilities. We met Mr. H and Dr. T who own the kamp. The youth assisted with pulling burrs, staining a deck, sorting trash piles, and many other tasks. Kyle even made friends with a horse who wandered into one of the barns where we were cooling off. He tried to assist her in leaving, but she wasn’t having it so Mr. H had to step in. We closed our time there with a circle where we shared about our experience. It was very eye opening. In the evening we assisted with a ministry called Moveable Feast. This group delivers hot meals daily to those stricken with HIV/AIDS and those who are on hospice who can’t ordinarily get out to get a healthy meal. The youth learned about the AIDS epidemic and why this is needed. The youth heard stories about the people and shared how much they learned about them and the joy that they got from delivering these meals. Overall they have been extremely flexible on this trip. Not all things have gone as planned, and they have really rolled with the changes.
At food chain we learned a lot. We learned that they grow tilapia so they can get the manure into the plants to grow. They filter out the ammonia in the water to get the clean water.They use the clean water for the plants to grow. They grow lettuce, kale, time, and other herbs. They don’t breed their fish, they buy them when they are little.
They use the plants in the kitchen next door and tons of other places like Smith Town. Each week they drop a box full of food at other peoples house, if they ordered it. It depends on the person, it could be a frozen box of food or all of the raw ingredients and instructions.
They teach kids how to cook and bake. They also teach the the kids how to use utensils. Sometimes other people with amazing recipes go to food chain to teach other people how to make their dish.
Arbor Youth strives to end youth homelessness by providing a safe and supportive environment to youth who have suffered abuse, abandonment, or are at risk of victimization. We envision a community where every child and youth have a stable home. On Monday, I found my time there very informative! Arbor Youth helped me to become more appreciative of how supportive my parents are. They accept my decisions, choices, hobbies, and support me in who I am as a person. I learned that not everyone is provided with that. At Arbor Youth, I also discovered the importance of being kind to everyone, because you never know what other people might be going through. Later in the day we got to return for an ice cream social on the front porch. It was a nice way to cool off on this hot day.
Tonight the youth took in an afternoon Lexington Legends game.
Today we worshipped at Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church. It was a different kind of worship than what we are used to, but it was an interesting experience. It started with someone playing the saxophone and then we sang a bunch of hymns. We switched back and forth between sitting and standing which was confusing at times. All in all, the experience was different, but it was cool to see how a different denomination worship.
I’m Corinne and this is my second mission trip. Today I participated in the housing simulation game and it opened my eyes to a lot of the unfair and difficult things in adulthood. The first “day” of the simulation started off smoothly and then the process got more difficult. It seemed easy on the surface due to my partner and I both having jobs and college degrees, but got more and more difficult when completing one step would lead to having to go back and complete another step. For example, we would try to get housing which would cause us to have to get our social security number. This was a long tedious frustrating process. After we finally were able to get housing, the next “day” we were told that we were being kicked out of our apartment because the landlord did not approve of homosexual relationships. This was very disheartening and frustrating we did everything right and even put down a deposit for the apartment but were now being discriminated against and kicked out for something unfair. This opened my eyes to what adults and people in all different minority groups have to deal with when just trying to get the essentials they need to live. This was a frustrating simulation but very enlightening.
This week I hope that I can become closer to God by helping the community that we have traveled to. I also hope to grow closer to my friends and make new ones as well. I’m looking forward to making more memories with those that also went on a mission trip two years ago. -Ella
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. ~ Dr. Seuss