Chicago Mission Trip

COMMUNITY EXPERIENCE

Our group will serve by partnering with local ministries that are actively working with children and churches on the north side of Chicago. We will be in the Humboldt Park/Hermosa neighborhood of the city, which is largely influenced by the Puerto Rican culture. The organizations we partner with primarily facilitate kids’ summer programs in addition to a few that work with seniors and the homeless population in the Humboldt Park area. YouthWorks groups get to experience the very relational neighborhood at a weekly church service held at the housing site. Other evening activities include a trip downtown to Grant Park and Millennium Park, hearing from a community speaker, and sharing a meal with local residents at a weekly cookout.

 

This trip, will be much like previous summers trips with YouthWorks. There will be other churches joining us at this site and we will build relationships with them too.

 

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Rooted Partner Synod Journey

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This is a first kind of trip for our Synod and St. Mark! We are super excited for joining together with the Grand Canyon Synod to serve Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tuscon! With this being a new kind of trip, there are some questions that arise. Here are some common questions and answers:

Q: What is a “partner synod”?

A: The 65 synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are assigned a “partner synod” for the purpose of strengthening one another for life and mission within the body of Christ. The Southeastern Iowa Synod and the Grand Canyon Synod are very diverse in their geographical location and cultural experiences. This journey seems to be natural way for us to learn about the church and each other in another part of the country.

Q: What will be doing?
A: The purpose of this event is to strengthen one another for life and mission within the body of Christ. Through worship, learning, and service, high school youth and adults will gain insight into the culture and people of our respective synods while on the territory of the Grand Canyon Synod. This journey opens our eyes to the opportunities that Christ sets before us, calling us to deepen our commitment and discipleship as communities of faith and as individual disciples. Participants will be learning about the joys and challenges of the culture and the church’s role in responding to issues like human trafficking, homelessness, and immigration/border issues. Both learning and service opportunities will be integrated into the week. Here is what we are doing in each location:

  • Las Vegas – Homelessness
  • Phoenix – Human Trafficking
  • Tuscon – Immigration Issues
  • Grand Canyon – Environmental Issues

Q: What is “Rooted”?
A: The theme of our journey is based on Ephesians 3:17:” …so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love…”.

Q: Where are we staying?
A: In Las Vegas we will be staying at the stratosphere hotel for two nights. We will be staying in Phoenix for the remainder of the trip in dorms. While in these cities, we will have area churches hosting us for meals and meeting spaces.

Q: How do we get there?
A: Looking at the costs of chartering a bus or driving that far, we have decided that flying out will be quickest and most economical mode of transportation to get out there.

Q: How Much is the trip?
A: Approximately $700. There is some wiggle room in there pending on the price of flights at the time we book, and the deal we work out with the airline. All we ask of families though is a deposit of $150.

Q: Why two big trips in one summer?
A: Tim is on the planning team for this trip, and was on it before coming to St. Mark. Since this is the case, he didn’t feel right forcing our group to go on this trip without any discussion. He is super excited about this trip, and looks forward to taking whoever wants to join!

 

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Rapid City Day 4 (7/13/2016)


Day four of our mission trip was one of the most difficult yet. Most groups were struggling through the third of four days on their service sites and one of our groups was learning the ropes at two completely new sites. But despite the adversity they faced emotionally, mentally, and physically, we are all in great spirits this morning and ready to take on our final day of service.

Please continue to comment below. Your love and support has helped each of these youth (and chaperones) carry on when they’ve faced difficult moments. Thank you!

Rapid City Day 3 (7/12/2016)

We continued on our mission sites today. Some of us are getting pretty tired and could use some encouragement today. Last night we had some extra time before bed, so we were able to respond to some of your comments!

Rapid City Day 2 (7/11/2016)

Day 2 of our mission trip to Rapid City was our first day on our work sites. We we split up into four different groups, two of all St. Mark Youth and two groups mixed with Hope Lutheran from Fargo/West Fargo, ND. At our sites we worked with lots of different groups.

Our first group spent the day clearing out a lot where Habitat for Humanity will be beginning construction later this week. Our second group split there day between a food bank in the morning and a nursing home in the afternoon.

Sadly the other half of our youth were unable to gather videos from there sites due to confidentiality issues. But throughout the next couple of days I hope to capture the youth sharing the amazing stories that have already begun to take place at the Club for Boys (an organization which strives to equipdboys to become young men) and Black Hills Works (an organization which cares for people with mental disabilities of all levels.

The youth loved the comments from yesterday, and actually wanted me to keep on reading them after I ran out, so keep them coming today!

Rapid City Day 1 (7/10/2016)

Today we traveled from West Des Moines to Rapid City, SD. We chose our seats on the bus based on Dinosaurs (because of SD’s history of archeology) Jordyn picked out. We thought we might share what we learned with you!

Don’t forget to comment below, so I can read those comments to the kids around 10:45pm Central Time. Thanks in advance!

2016 Mission Trips Announced

Mission Trip 2016

In 2016 we will be upping our Mission Trip Game. This year we will be offering two separate mission trip opportunities, one local and one national.

 

June 16-19, 2016 – Love Like Jesus in Des Moines, IA

July 10-17, 2016 – High School Mission Trip in Rapid City, SD

For more information please click on the link below to view the Mission Trip Newsletter

Registration for the either or both of the trips is due Sunday, November 1st at noon during our first Parent’s Meeting. Register at stmarkwdm.org/missiontripregistration.php

ELCA Youth Gathering – Recap Video

Here is our Gathering Recap Video. Last night we had a dinner with our investors where the youth on the trip were able to share their experience with the people who provided the financial gifts to make that possible. We’d like to say thanks one more time to our generous supporters!

If you’re having trouble watching the video here, try it on youtube: https://youtu.be/vjGCSdo29Pg

ELCA Youth Gathering – Day 4

Here is our Day 4 video. This was our “Proclaim Community” Day. We were sent out to explore the interaction center, play games, and immerse ourselves in activism projects. The Walk for Water Project is the project that our kids decided to really get involved in. Just from our own pockets the kids grabbed enough money to raise $300.

We also decided to try to get floor seats for the final night of the Gathering, you’ll have to watch the video to see how it went!

If you’re having trouble watching the video here, try it on youtube: https://youtu.be/1vDRaqsdVx4