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2018, Grand Rapids, Short Term Missions:

Grand Rapids 2018: Day One

Day one of the Fifth and Sixth Grade Mission Trip in Downtown Grand Rapids is in the books. Below are two student perspectives on the adventures of their first day.

By Onaka Lobbezoo

The first thing everybody did today at church, obviously, was set up. We have this great huge room that has plenty of room. Since most people brought air mattresses, mostly everybody was near a plug against the wall. Even the people who didn’t bring an air mattress were against the wall. It has this crazy carpet and matching walls. It’s green and red and has squares that have stripes.

Soon after, everybody met in another room for prayer. We then had a discussion of rules and guidelines. (Boring, but necessary). After that, we went upstairs to make our lunches – PB&J or Ham and Cheese. Plus snacks.

We were about to leave the parking lot when Katie comes running and screaming like a hooligan after us until we realized the back door was open. Sawyer kept accusing everybody of opening it, until I said “Accusing everybody makes me suspicious you did it.” Which ended him. Kids tell me Katie also hit the curb of the parking lot.

Our group went to Family Promise where we made cards and weeded – plus played a super fun game. The others went for a walk at Heartside.

After that, we all joined up at John Ball Zoo to eat lunch and talk about what we did.

Then, we all drove to Heartside to walk around doing a Scavenger Hunt where we have to look for certain things around town. Most of the things required talking to people. Then we all went around afterwards and interacted a little deeper. Now, I have to go eat dinner!

One thing I think we all learned today is that there is more to one person’s story than one might think. (I totally made that up. I thought it sounded cool and expressed what I thought we all learned.) I know I did. Before now, I never realized how many struggles homeless people went through. I might just cry tonight because it’s so sad. I always thought that they were just lazy or something. That’s what everybody told me. But I’m changing my mind. I can’t start to imagine how stressful and upsetting being homeless would be.

This is the summary of what we did today. Hope you enjoyed it!!

By Hannah Mateer

Today, I experienced the first day of the fifth and sixth grade mission trip it was so much fun!!! The first thing we did was split up into groups and one group went to Heartside Park [which was my group] and another group went to Family Promise.

In my group we started by splitting into more groups and observing downtown Grand Rapids. After that we met all the groups and we had lunch at John Ball zoo.

Next we did a scavenger hunt which was hard and out of our comfort zone because some of the things we had to do was ask strangers for money and ask for job applications, during this scavenger hunt we realized that homeless people are not much different from us and they are actually kind.

After dinner [which was pizza] we split into different groups again, some went to Degagé, others went to the Friendship Center, and others stayed and packed the snack and breakfast bags for Hand2Hand. My group went to the Friendship Center, at the Friendship Center they help refugees by serving them meals, we went there to help watch/play with the kids so the parents could talk and eat. At first most of the kids were distant and shy even though we were asking them to play, but after a while they warmed up to us and they played!

One of the other groups was Hand2Hand what Hand2Hand does is give food to kids after school or during the weekend they give the food to kids that are food insecure. What Calvary did was collect food [from us students and leaders] and then put them into bags to later give to the students at the school Calvary partners with.

Another group went to Degage and handed out root beer floats and also played bingo with the people. Close to the end of the time they ran out of supplies because it was a hit!!!

The first day was really cool and we all take for granted how much we have because we all have a roof over our head and nice food to eat.

One of the verses Pastor Lee told us was about how the righteous care about justice for the poor and the wicked do not. He talked to us about how the Downtown Market is right next to Heartside Park which is were most homeless people visit during the day. I did not even realize that the market is right by the park. Today was awesome. Throughout the day there were parts that were way outside of our comfort zone but we know God is in charge and His plan is perfect.