This is a monumental year for our Urban Mission Project. Ten years ago this summer we took our first group down to the Bridesburg section of Philadelphia to partner with ReaLife/Soma Church. This project consists of various work projects during the day and a Kids Club program in the evenings.
Throughout the years our teams have had a major impact on the kids and the community. This partnership has also had a profound impact on one particular student who ten years ago attended his first missions project with Grace Point. The impact has been so great that the student eventually completed his student teaching in the local elementary school and now currently lives next to the church in Bridesburg. Mike Nichols fell in love with this community and its people during his first visit to the community. Ten years later it is a privilege see Mike lead this Grace Point team in continuing efforts to impact the community on so many different levels.
Every year we spend a portion of our time serving the Recreation Center in Bridesburg. This past Monday, as I and other students were weeding the sidewalks and playgrounds, a small car radically pulled up next to a section we were working on. She rolled down her window and motioned me to come closer. Very cautiously I approached the vehicle and smiled hoping that what was about to happen would be positive. To my delight the woman in the car talked about how much she and her family appreciated what our group did every year. She proceeded to tell us how much better the Recreation Center and community is because of our work. She said that her daughter went to Kids Club as a teenager and now brings her child to the program every night. She bragged on how the community Facebook page had various people anticipating our teams’ arrival and the Kids Club program.
In the moments of pulling weeds, singing songs, and playing games the work we do seems so minute and unimportant. But it is moments like the interaction with the woman in the car that give us hope and restore confidence in that no small act of service goes unappreciated by someone, somewhere.
I have been on this project for six of the ten years and it has been a privilege to see this partnership grow to the tremendous impact that it has on the community. Not only are the people of Bridesburg impacted but our students come away personally challenged and stretched as well.
What small acts of service are you engaged in this summer? Who are you personally impacting? How have you been challenged to invest into someone else’s life?
Things to pray for as the team comes home Saturday:
- Many team members are sick. Pray for their health and rest so that the team finishes strong.
- Pray for more moments of encouragement as our team serves the community.
- Our goal is to help Bridesburg families connect with ReaLife Ministries through Kids Club. Pray that many connections will be established and that others will be strengthened.