Today was, in my opinion, Middle School Mission Week’s best day yet. Part of it is probably that I implemented a new rule – youth had to do five push ups before they were allowed to ask me what time it was. This gave us something fun to laugh about, helped strengthen some of their upper bodies, helped them be a little bit more aware of clocks around them, and made them slightly less irritating than earlier in the week.
This morning we went to the Hammond YMCA where we helped do some cleaning inside and picked up some trash outside. We also had some time to play in the gym which I think was the highlight of the day for some of the youth. Probably the best part of their experience though was having lunch at the YMCA. The School Town of Hammond is providing free lunches to kids at the YMCA this summer and they invited us to share in their meal today. Each youth received 2 cold chicken drumsticks, a small container of watermelon, a small container of cole slaw, and a capri-sunish juice pouch. No one was overly thrilled with the meal, but we had some good conversation about how that meal, as underwhelming as it was, might be the best, if not only, meal that some eat today. I think that was eye opening for many of our youth.
After lunch we went to Children of Abraham, a very cool organization that takes donated obsolete and surplus medical supplies from the U.S. and ships them to developing countries. The group really dug in and worked hard this afternoon and while they were working harder than they might have so far this week they also seemed to be having a great deal of fun. As we processed the day this afternoon someone even reflected, “even a task that might be kind of boring on it’s own can be fun when you do it with friends and when you do it with a spirit of service to help others.” Maybe they are learning something after all!
It’s been a long week, but at the same time it’s hard to believe that it’s almost over. Tomorrow should be a great day and I look forward to seeing how they reflect on the week in general when all is said and done!