I can confidently say that being uncomfortable isn’t one of our favorite feelings. Whether it’s an encounter with someone new or old, or just an awkward situation, no one likes to be uncomfortable. Being in a new place with different people isn’t easy, especially when you are trying to share the gospel with strangers. But the 37 students in Southern Philadelphia this week have gone above and beyond, stepping out of their comfort zones, to change the lives of kids and adults in the Kensington area. Every day has been a new adventure as no two days in Philly are the same. This past week, our students have been leaders at Kingdom Kids Day Camp as well as servants in the city of Philadelphia. Starting early in the morning, our students are serving intentionally in the community as hundreds of kids come to Urban Hope to have fun playing games, memorizing scripture and learning about the hope of Jesus. With two day camps per day, Grace students are on the move almost constantly as they interact with kids and share the gospel with them on their level. Students are creating an energy-filled environment as screaming the verses is the norm and getting kids involved is a common goal. During the evenings, students have had the opportunity to serve in the streets and interact with the homeless which was an awesome experience with countless stories shared by students. By giving out care packages and pizza to those in need, students got to pray and start up spiritual conversations with many people. We are also having a lot of fun because missions trips are fun! We got to really immerse ourselves in the Philly lifestyle as we ate Philly cheese steaks and spent an evening at a Phillies baseball game. There are also the prank-battles between the boys and girls which account to our lack of sleep, sorry mom!
There are so many opportunities for students to share the hope of Jesus to the kids and many have taken this awesome opportunity and led kids to Christ this week. Praise God! The week isn’t over yet and there is still so much that God is going to do in the lives of our students and through them. From a students leader’s perspective, it has been so awesome to simply watch students younger than I live and push through adversity towards the goal of reaching kids in the name of Christ. Every single student on this trip has gone out of their comfort zone which is HUGE! Each student is unique and every comfort zone is going to be different and that’s okay because God meets students where they are at and uses them for His glory. We firmly believe that God moves when we move out of our comfort zones and stepping out in faith isn’t easy. But our students are doing a phenomenal job. Lives have been changed this week in Philadelphia and we cannot wait to see what is in store for us in the next few days. Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement! Keep praying for life change in us and through us:)