This is an excerpt from a recent volunteer as posted on her blog. To visit her blog go to http://kas2008.blogspot.com/2008/04/open-door-mission.html
This past weekend was one of the most amazing weekends I have ever experienced.
So on Friday at about noon nine seniors, one youth pastor, and one adult who volunteered to chaperone left for Omaha, Nebraska for a mission trip. As we left, we expected a weekend of fun and of helping others, but I never expected what I got out of it.
I was super excited on Friday as we left because I was looking forward to spending the weekend with my friends. When we first arrived at Open Door Mission, which is a homeless shelter, I was really nervous about it. We went into the kitchen and cafeteria area to serve supper to homeless people. Throughout the night we brought the main meal, salads and sides, drinks, and desserts out to the people. These people are used to going through the line and getting their own meals, and were so amazed that we were serving them. There was not a single time that I gave a person something that they didn’t say, “Thank you.” I also heard, “God bless you,” several times.
On Friday night we went back to the hotel at about seven. We all went into one of the hotel rooms and talked. Bryan, the adult chaperone, and Ben, the youth pastor, talked to us for awhile about the day. We discussed how we are not far from being in the same situations as the people at the shelter. If a few things went wrong in our lives, we could completely loose everything. Bryan also talked to us about some things he saw that day, and it was amazing to listen to him speak because he is such a wise person.
After that we went swimming, ate pizza, and had our fun for the night. As we went to bed that night, I thought it had been a good day, but nothing had really hit me yet.
The next morning we headed over to the Open Door Mission again. This time we worked in the Distribution Center. This is a place that allows people to come in every once in awhile and get clothes, food, furniture, and other necessary things for free. After a few hours of sorting we went over and ate lunch with the others at the shelter. Then we took a tour and saw how the people lived. We ended our tour in a area where the daycare is. While parents take classes for their recovery programs daycare is provided for their kids. It was so much fun to play with the kids and see how happy they were. We wondered if they really knew what kind of situation they were in or if they knew anything different.
Later we went shopping and had supper at the mall. We went back to the hotel and had fun swimming and hanging out. At about ten we went to the boys’ room and talked. Ben had an amazing idea to go around and ask each person questions. We were allowed to ask anything about their lives. Then we prayed for them. Each person could say whatever they wanted during the prayer. It was amazing. We asked some really deep questions and I learned a lot about myself just by listening to others. We talked about our faith, high school, college, fears, struggles, and anything else we could think of. I got to know a new side of the people I have grown up with and thought I knew. It was absolutely phenomenal.
This morning we went to Salem Baptist Church. It was actually really awesome. I wish that our church services were like that. There were people who just stood up and shouted, “Amen!” or, “Alleluia!” They were dancing in the pews and the choir was amazing.
There was one guy who just randomly started tap dancing during one of the songs. I felt like I’d never had the opportunity to worship like that. Where I feel so strongly about Jesus the only thing I can do is dance and totally let go and not care what others say or think. It was amazing.This weekend I learned so much about myself and about my friends. I feel as though I’m a little bit more ready for college next year after this. And I know that no matter what…. I have God on my side.
Thank you for changing lives at Open Door Mission.
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