Wow. Philly was incredible. I've been delaying writing this, because I just don't know how to condense the experience into words. I'll start by telling you about my awesome team. I didn't know what to expect out of this group, but we ended up meshing together perfectly. I love how Jesus can bring people who are completely different together and unify them with a bond that feels like family. Our testimonies were all unique, but I was able to relate very personally to a lot of the stories.Only God could have put us together so perfectly.
Thor was our "man driver", he has so much wisdom and insight to offer, plus hes just really smart and can do brilliant accents that are super amusing. Jacob and Georgina were my group leaders and did an awesome job of leading our team. The rest of the team members were Megan (hilaaaaarious), Ainhoa, Ruth, Christin, Shelly, Emily, Alex, and Kyle! They are all such incredible people and getting to hear their stories & spend the week with them was such a blessing.
Our team's mission site was a place called the Harmonious Volunteer Center, which is located in a very poor area of Philly and its basically a center that provides resources to the surrounding community. We helped paint an entire room, packed boxes of books to send to soldiers, picked up trash, planted a garden, made spreadsheets, did whatever was needed. It doesn't sound like a lot of fun, but my team was awesome and it was a blessing to be able to serve the community that way. I'm definitely a lot more thankful for the family and home that God has given me in Chapin and Columbia.
Every afternoon we got to explore the city, which was very cool, definitely different from Cola. I loved the buildings, but I could never live there, it's too cold and too big! In the evenings we had a worship service at a local church, that was just INCREDIBLE every night. Everyone got so into the music and the energy was so great, along with some very thought provoking sermons. My attitude was a lot different from last year. I expected to be broken and for God to do work, I just didn't know what that was going to look like.I definitely learned a lot and am still processing all of it.
Things I learned in Philly:
- Community is priceless. I need more of it.
- I want a man who is pursuing the Lord wholeheartedly, and I won't settle for less.
- Being in a community where I'm able to completely be myself, is a beautiful thing, and needs to happen more often.
- I am disgustingly prideful. That pride is rooted in insecurity. [I had no idea that you could be insecure and prideful, this was an epiphany] Jesus is secure, the hope and anchor for my soul.
So in conclusion, Morgan, and I, are waging a war against our insecurities. Facing them head on. Letting the light of our Redeemer shine into all the darkest parts that we don't want to deal with. We're reading So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore (I highly recommend it). It's not going to be easy, but we're hoping it will make us more like Jesus.
Also, I'm starting a 21 day Bible reading plan with my precious mother, which brings me so much joy I can't even tell you. :) And God is doing so much work in the lives of my friends, I'm constantly amazed. I am so blessed to be a part of His perfect plan.