Monday, April 9, 2012

Final Days


On Friday morning we put together care bags for the homeless. Turissa had raised enough money for us to create these bags full of shampoo, toothbrushes, washcloths, socks, etc. We bagged over fifty packages for those in need.

                

We packed them in the van and went off to explore a little bit of Chicago. We spent our morning at Navy Pier, looking through different souvenirs and riding a few rides. After we finished there, we walked to Millennium Park, handing out packages a long the way. We encountered some very grateful people, which in turn made us happy to be serving. We got to see the bean at Millennium Park! 


 





After that, we visited the Water Tower Place, a mall in downtown Chicago. We didn't feel right while we were there. We all mutually decided that it took away from our service trip and decided to leave. We got back to the church just in time for the Good Friday service that FCC was having. We listened to our new friend, Chris' sermon and had a blast visiting with the members of the church. After that, we celebrated Stacy's birthday at a delicious pizza place near the church. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, STACY! Here we bonded with Chris and decided that it would be difficult to say goodbye to someone we had bonded with all week. We went to bed that evening knowing that we only had one more day in Chicago.

On Saturday we helped FCC get ready for their Resurrection Sunday service. Some helped clean and vacuum, some helped build a stage for the service, and we were lucky enough to watch some young girls prepare their dance! We got to know so many of those kids, so watching them really made us sad that we were leaving.

              
                                             

                                               

That evening, we finished handing out bags to those in need. We went to Roseland again to hand them out and received many smiles and hugs in return. While we were there, many of us felt like the minority. We were a group of majority white people walking through a predominantly black neighborhood. It helped us better understand the idea of inequality.

Abhib, Roland, & our new friend Chris (and Buford, of course!)
The next morning we woke up at 5:30am, some earlier, to get ready and clean the church. We got everything in tip top shape and hopped in the van with all of our luggage in tow. We attended a Baptist church service at Fellowship Chicago and loved every minute of the lively energy and encouragement. We left the church with smiles on our faces. We loaded up the vans and waved goodbye to the Windy City that had so graciously hosted our family for the week.

What a trip... being able to blog about our experiences has been a treat. Thanks to all who have read the posts and supported us through our efforts. We walked away from this experience with knowledge, power, life, and spirit. We have been so fortunate to meet the people that we have and to have spent a week in one another's presence.

Mahatma Ghandi once said, "Consciously or unconsciously, every one of us does render some service or other. If we cultivate the habit of doing this service deliberately, our desire for service will steadily grow stronger, and will make, not only our own happiness, but that of the world at large."

Our AWOL team is happy to announce that we will never stop serving. 

Blessings to all of you... 
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