End of Day 4:
Lauren–This morning we went downtown and my group asked a homeless man to join us for breakfast. He said he had been sitting there feeling very hungry and wondering how he was going to eat today. We sat down and talked with him about his life and answered his questions too. When we asked him if we could buy him some food for later in the day, his eyes lit up and he said he would really love some hot soup. I thought he was going to order a bowl of hot soup from the restaurant, but he walked to a convenience store and picked a Cup of Ramen soup, which by the way cost 55 cents, and a can of pop. Back home we joke about poor college students being stuck eating Ramen noodles and here was this grown man and his heart’s desire was one cup of Ramen noodles soup. We even asked if we could buy him another cup for later, but he said no, that he was content and very thankful for his one cup. I was really proud of my group for putting aside their nervousness and discomfort to participate fully in this activity and everything else we have done this week.
Tim Burge– The trip has been awesome so far, and its definitely not what i thought it would be. I’m pretty tired and ready to go home but at the same time I want to keep on playing with all of the kids at the Salvation Army mission. Also, volunteering is so much more fun than i thought it would be and I’m excited to find some volunteering places back home.
Mykayla Orner – Wow, this week has been the most interesting week of my life… Without a doubt. It hasn’t been bad, just… different. Like seriously, everyone I have met has opened my eyes, heart, and mind about all sorts of different aspects of human life. We look at homeless people and we think, oh they’re addicted to something illegal or have a drinking problem, but that’s not entirely true, at least with most of the people I’ve really had a chance to talk to. One, is not so different than you and me. I mean, he actually showed me his college transcript, and wow. He was smarter than me by a long shot, and maybe even half the people I know. Not even kidding. If you actually get to talk to them, you’ll learn that some… most of them are just average people, that if they weren’t out on the streets, they could even be your friend. Some of them are the sweetest, kindest people I have ever meet, and talking to them I felt guilty. I mean, here I am, complaining that I can’t get the newest jeans or a new jacket, but here these people are thanking us for talking to them and just are grateful for what little they have. Thinking about that, I feel like a spoiled brat. We really need to start being thankful for what we have and stop complaining about what we don’t have, because we could be a whole lot worse off than we are now. God has showed me that, and I hope I can pass it on to the people I love.
Alison- We started off our day with only three dollars for breakfast. Our task was to find a homeless person and ask if they wanted to join us for breakfast and then use the little money we had to buy ourselves and our new friend breakfast. Then we went to the Midnight Mission and served the people lunch. A lot of the people were very friendly and thankful. After lunch we went to Las Familias and played with the children. We have visited Las Familias everyday for the last week and it has so far been the most rewarding and enjoyable experience I have had on this trip. We played tag and made crafts. I loved getting to know the children and be able to better understand how they live in skid row. I will miss them and my CSM leaders the most.
Bryan- Today my group went to the Los Angeles Food Bank where we helped sort the food into bags, five bags to a crate, 30 crates to a pallet. My group finished first, mostly because the people putting the food in the bags were going so fast. After we finished with the food we moved on to the non-food items and sorted them into boxes. Next we went to the Red Shield community center and helped the kids there. I ended up being chased all over the center by a bunch of kids who wanted to pinch me because I forgot it was St. Patrick’s day and didn’t where anything green. Finally we went up to the Griffith Park Observatory (editors note: this is one of the most impressive areas in LA–it overlooks the Hollywood sign and the entire city :)….Bryan was impressed 🙂 )) we looked around and talked, soon after we headed back to the housing site, I fell asleep ( I had an entire bench to stretch out on) in the van and eventually fell off the seat and on to the floor which woke me up and made everyone laugh. All in all it was a great finale day that i wish could have lasted a little longer. On this mission trip I have had a great time and would really like to thank my CSM guide Jay for forcing me to put down my book and get out of my comfort zone, I feel I would have missed a lot more if he hadn’t, so I really need to thank him.
Maria – Serving the people of LA today included packing bags of food for school age children to take home with them over the weekend. It brings joy to my heart, knowing that children will be able to have good food in their belly, when normally they would have little healthy food to sustain them until Monday, when school resumes. While we were at the food bank, we were able to hear about the community of people that are served through their organization and see testimonials of people who are encouraged through the food and items they are able to receive. I had to laugh a few times at the fact that the standard of food & items we were packing was sometimes higher than the things we are willing to use in our own home. An onion with a bad looking outside – I’d say, ‘just peel off the bad & the rest is good’, but at the food bank, I was forced to throw things away!! Ahhhh….goes against every bone in my body, but I obliged. 🙂
Nearly starving & with sore feet, we devoured our home made lunches with PBJ or Meat/Cheese and reflected on our time there. Joy!
This week we’ve had the joy of working at a Salvation Army community center, in their after school program. I found great satisfaction in helping these elementary children with their homework, listening to them read, playing a little Lightning or shooting some pool. I never knew those games of pool I shot with my Grampa would come in handy when working with kids in LA! Thanks, Grampa Miller
–this morning we are cleaning up the housing site, saying good bye to the CSM staff, and heading out for a free day. This will be an important part of the week as we process everything God has done. Please pray for excellent and deep conversations :))