Mission Trip 2011

 

Missionary team: David Anderson, Joshua Smith, (from Ironwood Wesley UMC) and Paige Kleinhuizen, Karsten Varecha, Zachary Potvin, (fromWhite Pine Community UMC) Pastor Rosemary and Joe DeHut

 

Saturday August 6 – We left Pastor Rosemary and Joe’s house in Ontonagon at 6:20 a.m. . We arrived in Columbus, Ohio at 8:15 p.m. We drove 771 miles in 14 hours to get there. Margaret Madison, the Community and Outreach Missionary from the United Methodist Church for All People met us at the church and led us to the Hospitality House where we stayed. We ate pizza and went to bed about 11:00 p.m.

Sunday August 7 – Up at 7:00 a.m.  We went to the church where we joined others for a Free Breakfast. After breakfast we moved into the room where the Sunday morning service is held.

The service was different than we are used to. They had a full drum set, a lead and a base guitar, a key board and three singers. The service was more informal than ours. During the joy and concern prayer time someone moved around the room with a microphone so that everyone could hear what the joy and concern was. Most people began singing a song when they said their joy or concern. This took about 15 minutes.

After the service we went upstairs of the church to meet the youth of the Church for All People: Craig, Juan, Christopher, Rachael, Lynn, and Kayla. The adult leader of the youth group is a doctor and also leads the choir.

We then all went to Schiller Park for pizza lunch. We had a time to just walk around the park, goof off and get to know each other.  Kristy, Christopher’s stepmother joined the group and spent the rest of Sunday with us and worked with us on Monday as well.

We then went back to the church to make paper chef hats for Vacation Bible School; our least favorite thing to do.

When we arrived at the church we found two ladies who had sat in their car in the church parking lot all day: they didn’t have gas to go home. Margaret gave them $3 for gas and yet they sat in their car in 90 degree heat all day so they could go eat dinner at the Salvation Army.

We all went to dinner at McDonalds and got to know each other a little better.

Closing prayer that night was thank you for meeting new people, having new experiences and let us get a good night’s sleep tonight so we can help change people’s lives tomorrow.

Monday August 8 – We woke up way to early

We had breakfast at our house and then went to work. We worked at two houses which have been rehabbed, doing landscaping: pulling weeds, laying fabric and putting down mulch.  It was hot, dirty work in 96 degrees heat. All the youth from both churches worked together. We worked very hard and finished the landscaping at the two houses then had lunch of Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches and chips and fruit.

The houses have 3 bedrooms, Two and ½ bathrooms; selling for $70,000 because of the neighborhood they are in. The agreement between the United Methodist church for All  People and National Children’s Hospital, various banks in Columbus and various government grant programs is that they all work together to rebuild and stabilize the neighborhoods in Columbus. One by one the houses are rehabbed, or torn down and new houses built. Good, available housing is changing the face of the city as the standard of housing and thus the standard of living is improved.

After lunch we finished the cleaning up at the two house job and then went to Momma D’s. Momma D lives with her adopted son Juan, who is a part of the youth group from Church for All People. Momma D has diabetes: she has lost one eye and one leg and now has to go for kidney dialysis three mornings a week. She’s a black woman who is praising God one moment and swearing the next minute.

Joe framed in her new air conditioner, in her bedroom. They just moved into a rental home that is appropriate for a wheel chair and walker. She would get her refrigerator and stove on Wednesday.

The girls helped Momma D unpack some of her things and the boys did the yard work: trimming trees, raking, mowing. We dug out the weeds and grass in her front flower beds and planted flowers.

We were starving by the time we finished at Momma Ds.  As we left we sang songs with her and she prayed for the group. “That God would bless the group and that we would be prosperous. She was thankful for us being there.” She began to cry.  We kids thought Momma D was awesome.

We picked up McDonalds for supper and took it back to the house to eat, as we were too dirty, tired and hungry to cook.

Tuesday August 9  – We got to sleep in, then ate breakfast at the house and went to the church for the church service  before the Free Store opened.

The service was short with a message of hope and conviction. Some people were there to worship, some were not. Some people were using the church just because of the Free Store and didn’t exactly go to the church service. Some people came in late so they wouldn’t have to actually participate in the church.

On Tuesdays the church also distributes free fresh produce given to them by the Ohio Food Bank.

It’s good that the church offers a service before the free store opens so that the good news of Jesus can be preached and hopefully heard. “You can live your life without Jesus, but you will be hollow inside. Jesus will fill that hollow place,” was the message that morning.

After the service we drove to a house to do painting on a front porch. The residents in the duplex were a mother, whose partner lived with her and had a low paying job; and a mentally challenged woman and her partner, also mentally challenged. They had just had their baby taken away from them because the state felt they were not capable of taking care of it.

For lunch we walked to Stowe’s Mission for hot dogs, beans, pasta salad, cookies, ice water or coffee.  Stowe’s Mission is a church which serves free lunch Monday through Friday to anyone who comes. The mission itself is supported by Columbus Metropolitan Baptist Churches. Volunteers from 30 out of the 150 of all the different churches in Columbus Ohio take turns providing the food and manpower to offer the free lunch.

After lunch we walked the six blocks back to the house we were painting to finish the job. Even though we were not able to finish the job, because we ran out of paint, we were proud of the job we did. Melissa and her children: Loren, Alexis and Jovan appreciated the job.

The Michigan youth group hosted the Ohio youth group for spaghetti dinner at our hospitality house. After words we went downtown Columbus to play in the water fountains. The city invites families to come to the fountain area each summer evening to cool off and play.  We had a great time cooling off and having fun.

They are developing The Sciloto Mile named after the Sciloto River.  In 2008 they built the only one arch bridge over the river and they are rehabbing the downtown area with new apartment buildings and businesses, all aimed at rehabilitating the city of Columbus. It is a beautiful city. Nationwide Children’s Hospital has a great deal to do with the rehabilitation.

Wednesday August 10 – We ate breakfast at the house and then went to the church.

We did yard work at the church parking lot. We noticed the paramedics stop to treat a man lying on the grass on the corner of the street near the stop sign.  They woke him up and helped him to stand. Appeared that they discovered he wasn’t sick or hurt and they went back to the ambulance laughing. He stood there with his head bowed and his hands clasped together, looking like he was praying and then he laid back down on the grass.   This incident made us feel sad and angry.  We felt sad for the man and angry at the paramedics for the way they seemed to treat him.

We took a break to make a run to the ice cream store.  Thank you to those who contributed extra money for ice cream.

After working a bit more, we went back to the house for left over spaghetti and then we returned to the church to work in the Free Store.

Working in the Free Store was fun, okay, and interesting. Some of us worked carrying boxes of clothes, some were sorting hangers, some were hanging clothes, and some brought books up from the basement to put on the shelves. We also helped the shoppers. The basement was full of clothes and stuff that people donated for the Free Store. Sharon Allen the director really cared about people.

Sharon’s rule for working at the Front Desk (where the people come to check out their items) is that “The love of Christ must flow through you to the customers’ If you can’t serve, not judging, but loving like Jesus, don’t work at the front desk. You can work sorting and hanging clothes in the back room.” John Edgar the pastor of the Church for All People calls the Free Store, “Holy Ground”

It’s been 12 Years and they are on their 3rd store, each bigger than the previous. They now have 115,000 members. To become a member you have to fill out a registration sheet and you get “a blue card” When you come ‘shopping’ they record what you buy and there are rules as to how many of each item you can get each month.

School supplies: The Free Store (C4AP) packs up individual packages of appropriate age school supplies and hands them out to 1,600 school students.

Christmas: The C4AP provides for 500 children – 7 toys each, 1 new outfit and new underwear. Sharon says there are always kids who don’t get anything for Christmas.

That evening we served a free meal to people who came to the Celebrate Recovery service.  Someone had prepared a casserole dish and then we served bread and mini muffins, coffee and juice.  We especially like the cute children. The people who were served thanked us for being there.  After words there was a church service and then the people went into their small groups.

Thursday August 11 – we drove to Muskegon, Michigan where we stayed in a house owned by the Life Change church. Burt and Rhonda Scouten, members of the church hosted us and cooked hot dogs for us that night.

Life Change church is involved with annual mission trips to Guatemala, both the high school youth group and the adult groups make trips to work on houses and churches and to do Vacation Bible School.

Friday August 12 was our day at Michigan Adventures.

We had a great day of fun going on the rides. Burt and Rhonda Scouten bought pizzas for us and we met them back at the house for supper that night.

Saturday August 13 – We left Muskegon at 8:30a.m. and traveled back home, arriving about 7:00 p.m. We traveled a total of 1,811 miles for this mission trip.

Thank you to all who helped us to go on this mission trip. We not only feel as if we helped people by doing the work we did, we had fun together and learned about living our lives loving one another in the same way Jesus loves us.

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