June 16th – 20th is Ridge UMC’s Middle School Mission Week. Each day middle school students will be gathering to participate in mission projects throughout the community. I’ll be reflecting on each day here.
Today was another fantastic day. I was a little concerned about the youth being wiped out after their day at the water park yesterday and this morning started slow – they all seemed exhausted as they showed up. Once we got to working things really picked up though.
This morning we went to a new agency (for us) – Capes House. Capes House is an old apartment building that has been renovated to serve as short term housing for people (especially women and children) who are homeless. Many of the people receiving services from Capes House have recently been evicted because of a loss of job or other unforeseen circumstances. The work that we did while there wasn’t terribly rewarding (some cleaning/straightening outside) but it was good to connect with another organization in the community – especially one that Ridge Church has been so involved in supporting over the last year or two.
This afternoon we went to one of my favorite organizations, Children of Abraham. Children of Abraham is a fantastic non-profit that collects medical supplies from hospitals in the United States and distributes them to hospitals throughout the world. Some of my favorite things about Children of Abraham:
– It is an interfaith colaboration of the United Methodist Church and the Islamic Society of Northwest Indiana.
– The medical supplies that are collected would likely end up in landfills if not for Children of Abraham.
– The organization is very non-assuming, grounded, and grass roots.
– Champ Merrick, one of the key players in Children of Abraham embodies for me what it means to live a life of missions.
While we were with Children of Abraham today we began by helping stage a shipment that is being loaded Saturday morning to go to Tanzania. Once we got all of that prepared we began working to get things ready for a shipment to Liberia that will be going out in July.
As the day came to a close today the youth reflected on how great it had been to serve homeless families in Hammond as well as patients and doctors in Tanzania and Liberia. For me, that is exactly what Middle School Mission Week is all about.