Kortney Shardt of women’s cross country and track is serving as the documentarian for this mission trip.
Today we flew out to California to start our journey for the week!! Our lovely John Langdon and Renee SchultzSwere so kind to cram us in their cars and head to BNA!!
When we touched down in San Diego, we were all thinking the same thing… IN-N-OUT burger! We gathered all our luggage and headed outside to the beautiful sunset and palm trees and WARM WEATHER to wait for our ride to arrive! Our leader for this trip is from New Vision Church here in San Diego, and he brings these groups into the church to help with outreach programs. This church has a goal of helping the homeless from many different angles: first and foremost, they want these people to feel respected and loved! Something that they don’t get everyday. From there, helping them looks different depending on the season. Right now, they are in the midst of gathering a count of the homeless community in San Diego, so that they are being accounted for, and not taken advantage of by the city (financially speaking). We are going to be doing things like going out and talking with them, delivering cold weather gear, inviting them into the church and making them feel welcome.
We had mixed reviews about IN-N-OUT. Some of us felt it was overrated and some went back for seconds!! It is a must to go to IN-N-OUT when you’re in Cali – Mike (our leader) agreed. After we went to IN-N-OUT, we headed back to see the church for the night. When arriving, he told us some history about the church, the building, and the surrounding city. This church was planted in the pastor’s backyard 10 years ago, and merged with a church that owned the building they are currently in about 7 years ago. This church has a mission to make everyone that walks through the doors feel welcomed, and known that they are made in the image of God, and they will be loved.
There are so many programs here that this church accommodates- boxing and sports ministry, youth groups, college nights, and the list goes on!
We were so shocked to see that there are Birds here too!! Not the actual animal, but the scooters.
After IN-N-OUT burger, we came back to the church and settled in. We were shown all the places in the church that we were going to be working and met the pastor of the church! Next came the fun part. We worked on a building exercise for our team run by Anna, our leader’s assistant. This game was called Kobie’s Kitchen. In this game, you have an engineer, two lab rats, and and builder. The point of the game is to explain a chemical structure (made out of magnets) and try and “telephone” it across the room to make an exact replica. This game became super challenging when you had to explain this detailed piece of equipment to the lab rats and have them relay the message to the engineer- the one who is building the structure. In the end, both teams did well and only had one magnet off from the original. It took us 30 minutes, and a lot of brain power. The point of this game was to show us that communicating effectively and paying attention to detail.
Tomorrow, we are going to the Ronald McDonald home. This is a home filled with parents and children who are going through difficult times with their children’s illness. We are going to spend time with them, serve them breakfast, and hopefully be able to remind them of the joy that the Lord brings through love and support in community. This hospital is where families come find new hope for their sick children. A lot of children come here with rare diseases and the families may have to come and pick up and move on the dime. This house is a place for the family to go and recharge and refresh and stay overnight while they are with their children all day at the hospital next door. This hospital runs on volunteers, so we are excited to be able to serve these people who are going through a rough time!
Prayers are much appreciated and needed with all of our hearts for the homeless community. Praying that above all, they see the Lord through our actions, and how we love one another and interact with them. Thank you for all your prayers thus far, and we are so thrilled to be doing the Lord’s work here, where there is great demand for serving GodsG children who need help!