Today was a tiring day. Today was a hot day. Today was an encouraging day. Today was an uplifting day. Today was our final day in Philadelphia, and boy what a day it was!
We started with a great team time where our students were really challenged to go back to their schools and find those who are left out, the “outcasts”, and begin to love them like Christ does. First, though, we had one final day of Kingdom Kids camp to make in impact in the kids lives. This vbs-like camp is exhausting. There is nothing else I can think of to describe it. So when I say our students stayed energetic, singing, dancing and going crazy with the kids, and treated them with the love of God, it is one of the highest complements I can give them. This camp is HARD! But this team really pulled together and lived as vessels of God’s love to these kids this week, and it was incredible to see.
Then we had a “scavenger hunt” tonight. We went to the South Street neighborhood and the students were challenged to talk to people; people different from those they would normally come across in Wayne County. During debriefing, students had story after story about how this simple one hour activity made an impact in their lives. It really was great to hear about all the unique interactions our students had tonight.
Remember Tuesday when we could not go up the “Rocky steps” and it worked out perfectly for Craig’s team time? Well tonight we got to go to the “Rocky steps” and it worked perfectly for what was in store for tonight. After just about everyone ran up the steps and yelled “Yo, Adrian”, we split off, guys with guys and girls with girls and revealed our Secret Encouragement Partners. I think this is always one of the best parts of any trip. It is just an hour of our students and leaders encouraging and sharing about how they saw God working in the lives of other people on this trip. It is just an uplifting time, and it is great to see how everyone saw the person next to them go through life change throughout the week. Cool stuff!
Now the students are in various stages of sleep/lack thereof, and our leaders are sleeping. To all the people who have followed this trip, thank you for your prayers. To all the parents, thank you so much for sending your students, and for giving the leaders, the Urban Hope staff, and the Lord Almighty an opportunity to help guide your students along their spiritual journeys. For me, this has been one of the best weeks of my life, and I am sure most, if not all, of the students on this trip would say the same. To all the students on this trip, you are awesome (especially my street team of Bree, Darin, Kennedy and Tyson, always serving without a complaint, even when you are getting smacked in the face by a salad with Italian dressing. You guys are the best!)
Keep us and safe travels in your prayers tomorrow, and then pray that the students will take the next step and bring the mission back to Ohio, in their schools, homes and friend groups. Imagine the impact of 39 students living fully for Christ!
Also, keep checking the blog after the trip is over. We will be posting some personal stories your students have told us from the past week, along with a wrap-up summary of the whole trip, at the end. Seriously, God did a ton of work this week in the lives of your students, and I cannot wait for you to hear about it! As for us, next stop: Wooster, Ohio!