Inspired by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his message that “the time is always right to do what is right”, a dedicated group of 10 senior high youth shared their weekend to serve those in need, and experience poverty, great community and more with the 2017 Buffalo Mission Trip urban immersion experience the weekend of January 13-15.
Friday evening we settled into Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, got to know each other and engaged in the beginning of our ongoing devotion and faith conversations.
Saturday began with getting to Hananiah Lutheran Church on Genesee St. We – rather than take the 5-minute drive – opted for public transportation. We rode the NFTA Metrorail further downtown, and then waited for our bus transfer…thus experiencing what the urban poor without their own vehicle endure daily to get around.
At Hananiah Lutheran we served by organizing their food pantry from top to bottom. We stocked shelves. We cleaned the whole church, which resides in an old storefront, that before the church began was a clandestine marijuana growing factory.
After taking public transportation back to Holy Trinity, we then took turns preparing and cleaning up not only for lunch, but other meals as well for the whole group, one big part of how we cared for each other during the weekend living in “intentional community” with each other.
We also did what’s known as the “Burrito Project”, which involves preparing burritos and then taking them to hand out to the homeless on the streets.
We walked to get the supplies we needed, and then after dinner we set about cooking and preparing the burritos for our journey the next day.
Sunday – our final day – started out with worship with the people of our weekend home at Holy Trinity.
That afternoon, we ventured downtown to deliver our burritos to the hungry and homeless. We left hats and scarves clipped to a clothesline for anyone in need to come and take. We stopped at “Homeless Jesus”, a statue of a homeless, covered figure on a park bench, found next to St. Paul’s Cathedral. We then meandered up Michigan Ave. Along the way, we passed out burritos, water, hats, gloves and other clothing to those in need. We even stopped at Harbor House (a homeless drop-in center) to give some food and clothing there.
Upon our return to Holy Trinity, our families with a hot potluck dinner awaited. The weekend wrapped up with one last devotion reflecting on our experiences. Our eyes were opened. Our hearts broken and simultaneously filled. We were humbled. Our community was tighter. And our challenge: don’t let this experience end. Keep in prayer about where God may be leading us to continue this fight for social justice for all.
We are thankful for those that supported our journey: parents and family, Holy Trinity which graciously welcomed us “home” for the weekend, for Hananiah and their ministry, Town Line Lutheran in Alden for collecting clothing for us to pass out, the Burrito Project and their ministry…and those we walked alongside, who showed us Jesus in unexpected ways!
Buffalo Mission Trip pictures
Rather than placing pictures directly on our page, we’ve started a Google Photos album for this trip. Check out the pics, feel free to download what you like, and if you have a Google ID (you do if you have a Gmail account), you can now add your Buffalo Mission Trip pictures to the collection! Click the button to go to the album…