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Deep Dish (Chicago Update #3)

Greetings from Chi-town! It’s been a busy couple of days in the middle of our trip, but we’ve had a wonderful time.

The worksites have continued to be a very good experience. On Tuesday the boys helped continue a project at Benton House by filling a very large raised garden bed. They moved a huge pile of dirt, and helped further a project to let local people grow their own food so they can have access to fresh produce (which is usually too expensive for the neighborhood families to purchase).

During the day they met a lot of the local folks from the community; little kids and life-long residents. It was a great experience in urban service to interact with them and see how some were thankful, some indifferent, and others uncomfortable with people from outside of the community coming in to work. They heard lots of stories, and started to get a feel of what life in that neighborhood is like each day. It was a reminder of how different life in these areas can be.

On Wednesday the girls had the opportunity to talk to the 7-12 year old girls about respecting our parents and then praying with them for their parents and for them. It was a neat way to start our morning and seemed to set the tone for the day. We worked on math homework, woodworking and sewing projects and had some time outside too. Many of the students that come to Faith Covenant never venture further than a two block radius of their home. It’s such a different life.

The boys went to an off-site storage area for Benton house. Sam and Daniel tested over 600 keyboards to make sure they were in working order before Blake packaged them up to be shipped off to North Carolina to be used in centers to help people find jobs.

In the evening our team went to a Bible study hosted by one of the elders of the church where we are staying. His family led a Bible study for our team on the 1st commandment (you shall have no other God’s before me) and at the end of the night he made us proud to be part of NSL when he said “We’ve been doing this for years and your group is the most spiritually mature one I’ve seen.” It was a great compliment , especially considering that our team was unusually quiet and tired that evening.

Today we’re heading out for our last day of ministry. They boys will spend the morning finishing up their projects and in the afternoon they will be playing softball with the local kids near Benton House and the girls will have their last full day with the young students at Faith Covenant Church.

Tonight we’ll visit lake Michigan and tomorrow we start our drive home.

Please pray for the energy to finish strong today, and for the conversations we’ll have with the students and people we’ve built relationships with over the week.

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