Friday, July 4, 2014

Mission Trip to Chicago

Last week Darian and Harley had the privilege to go with 26 teens and 7 adults on a trip from our home in Kansas to Chicago, Illinois. They traveled in 3 large vans. It was a 14 hour trip. The arrived in Chicago late on Sunday night at their new 'hotel' for the next 7 nights:the floor of the Mt. Greenwood Church of the Nazarene on the south-side of Chicago. At the end of each day they went to the Mt. Greenwood Park Field house to shower. Harley's first time with community showers and they both said the water was freezing cold.

They partnered with an endeavor of the Church of the Nazarene's Chicago district called "Chicago-Reach Seventy-Seven." Reach Seventy-Seven's mission was to reach 77 specific Chicago neighborhoods with the love of Jesus by being in the neighborhoods doing what they could to help and to make Christ-like disciples. 
Harley(in white) with a New friend at the Mission

Harley (in green) with some 'cheesy' pizza
Friends of the Park Pantnership
They  had a different  mission each day, as well as worked in some sight-seeing. Each day they went to the Pacific Garden Mission, the oldest, continuously operating, Gospel rescue Mission in the Country. They offer meals and a place to sleep to the poor and the homeless. Darian and Harley helped to make 575 beds every day with fresh linens and folded a mountain of bath towels. They helped to serve two, and sometimes three meals a day at the mission. And gained an education that cannot be taught in books. And made new friends. 
Operation blessings
In front of a window at Willis Tower over-looking Chicago

Darian (on sidewalk) working on a landscaping project
Some of the group helped to do a landscape project at a Nazarene Church parsonage to spruce up a house on the south side of Chicago. Some of the group helped at a Salvation Army with folding piles of donated clothing. And some of the group went to Operations Blessings, a food pantry completely funded without government help, to provide food to needy families. Before a family receives help with food they go through a counseling session and some of our kids got to witness these sessions and there were 7 people who gave their life to Jesus during the kids' visit. They found this to be very powerful. 
Darian goofing off

Playing around with picture-taking
They assisted with a park cleanup that consisted of clearing weeds and trees. Parks are a very important part of life in Chicago. They also hosted a party in the park, on their final day in Chicago, that was attended by anyone who wanted to attend, but mostly aimed at lower-income children.

 While there they visited Navy Pier,  Magnificent Mile, Willis Tower (used to be called Sears Tower), Lake Michigan,Chinatown,Millennium Park, ate Chicago style pizza, went to Linclon Park Zoo and shared group devotions and small groups to discuss what they were seeing and hearing. 

They haven't stopped talking about their experience. I am ever so grateful that they got to go on this trip. It was an education and they were a blessing to many people while they were there.

One of the vans leaving Hutchinson
End of long day. First time on the subway

Just finished making 575 beds

The Bean Sculpture in Millennium Park

Chicago Style Pizza

Harley spending time with her Bible


  1. What a wonderful opportunity for them. Expansion of their life experiences.

  2. What a great experience for them. Helping others always makes you feel happy inside. I am glad they had this opportunity.

    1. I am glad as well Wendy. They are both such great kids. And have been such a blessing to me. And this is an experience they will never forget.

  3. I stunned they were able to accomplish so much in just a week's time! Don't you wish 'good news stories' like this were publicized more often? Oh well, it's what they carry with them in their hearts that counts. You must be so very proud!

    PS - I'm going to show this to my hubby; he was born and raised on Chicago's south side!

    1. Yes, this is the stuff that should be on TV! Hope your husband enjoyed

  4. What a profound experience. I am so moved by their trip.

  5. I got goose bumps reading of their experience, especially with the 7 that made a commitment to Jesus! Awesome!! I think every teen should go on a mission trip like this; it helps them to put their lives into perspective and realize how good they might have things. Thanks for sharing their trip with us, Paula. I am sure they will continue to talk about it for a long time!


  6. This is a wonderful experience. Great for the kids and what a blessing they have been to so many people.


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