This year was my third year participating in the annual middle school mission trip; Summer in the City. Before I can say anything else, I have to tell you that it was amazing. It can be hard to imagine someone helping people without feeling joyful. At least, that’s what it felt like for me. Meeting new people with completely different lives than mine was really enlightening. Sometimes I feel unlucky for the things that I have. I feel envious for those who are rolling in money every second of the day. But the people that I met were different.
They thought that my life was a paradise; a dream that they were always hoping would come someday. And often these people weren’t even in the worst situations. Most of the people that I worked with were just part of the organization that I was helping! This sense of reality helped me figure out what parts of my life were so important; so much more of a luxury.
But that isn’t all that happened. On the first of three days of the mission trip, my group was doing a job of spray-painting messages onto some of the sidewalks of Minneapolis. The overall message was about keeping the storm drains from filtering chemicals into the Mississippi. We also hung flyers on some doorknobs of nearby buildings. The second day, we assisted with clothing organization at the Ready for Success; Men’s charity. We met a lot of new people there; the volunteers were very nice. On the third day, we helped a nearby church in need of cleaning. This church is a place of worship for the surrounding Native American community, and it was nice to see the work we had done when we were finished.
I hope that my description motivated you to possibly attend or send your middle-schooler on this trip next summer. It is a lot more fun and faith-filled than I can describe.
With Peace, Anna Mai
Anna joined seventeen people from Nativity and fifty-four middle schoolers from metro area Episcopal Churches June 20-22, 2012 for three days of mission and city immersion in Minneapolis.