Monday: Experiencing Downtown Mobile
Monday started the true ministry part of our mission trip. We described Saturday and Sunday as spring break because the students had a chance to relax on the beach in the backyard where we are staying. Then Monday morning we jumped into the deep end, so to speak, and immersed ourselves in ministry.
We divided into four groups who split up to experience ministry in different parts of downtown Mobile. Group A (Joel, Hayden, Joey, Erica, Davis and Kathleen) started the day early by helping serve breakfast to the homeless at Government Street Presbyterian. Group B (Jon, Lynnette, Michael, Ted, Bryan and Matthew) headed to L’Arche to spend time with the disabled community there. Group C (Mark, Ian, Sonya, Cynthia, Andrew and Brandon) spent time at a day camp for inner city children at a local school. Group D (Brent, Megan, Steven, Theron, Lauren and Doran) began the morning at Dumas Wesley, a local outreach, helping to clean up the building and grounds.
Groups A and B ate lunch with the homeless at a local day shelter, 15 Place, and listened to the stories of homeless men and women. In the afternoon Group A spent time at a local Boys and Girls Club playing basketball and doing arts and crafts. Group B spent time at Dumas Wesley helping clean and build relationships with children. Group C went back to Taylor Park while Group D spent time with children at Camp Tonsmeire.
It was definitely a full day and for many of the students their preconceptions of the homeless community were changed. They saw the homeless as people not just statistics. The students who experienced L’Arche were surprised at the warmth and welcoming spirit that the disabled showed them.
Tuesday the groups rotate to different ministries and experience a new side of downtown Mobile. Pray that the students will feel a desire to serve. Our hope is that students will transition from looking to their own interests toward looking out for the interests of others. This is not something that we can tell them to do. It needs to be the movement of God in their hearts that motivates them to serve.
Your sons and daughters are doing great and it is a joy to walk alongside them this week!