From painting projects, to tearing up carpets, our mission team served local homes and organizations. Towards the end of the day, we threw on our gym clothes and headed to the dodge ball and basketball courts. With a rainbow of foam balls flying, we engaged in an epic dodge ball tournament with a group of local middle schoolers and high schoolers. Read more about our fourth day in Richmond below from Esther and Emily.
The simple acts: This morning we had a devotional with Paul and Anna, two CHAT leaders, and the message was so on point. Paul spoke on the passage of John 15 and how Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. Even though pruning may seem like a hurtful process, it is all out of love. Paul also challenged us to tell God, “I know I’m going to see you today, help me to acknowledge you and see you in all things.” This really encouraged me because, although that may be my prayer many times, I don’t always act upon it. However, today while my group cleaned out a house, I remember just scrubbing a toilet and finding the joy in that simple act. I realized that even though it may not seem like much, it is still ministry and it is act of praise. God has been teaching me to find joy in the small things because ministry does not always have to look like a busy schedule or doing big events. Today blessed me so much and I’m looking forward to more adventures tomorrow.
Making Friends: Today was a full, but tiring day. We cleaned a whole rental house, including ripping up carpet, and we also got to hang out with the kids in the neighborhood at the gym. There were a couple of girls there who I wanted to connect with, but I felt intimidated by the year-long interns who already had an established relationship with the students. I decided to share my fear with our understanding leader, Jason, instead of just internalizing it. He encouraged me to just “go for it” and go up to the girls and say, “Hey, my name Emily and I’m going to be your friend.” I immediately decided that even though I only have a few days left here to develop relationships, “what do I have to lose?” I ended up making friends with these two amazing, loving girls. We had some small talk, played dodge-ball, and laughed about how I couldn’t pronounce their names. One girl hugged me and said she hopes she sees me tomorrow—success.