September 9, 2019
Chicago Dream Center Mission Trip 2019 | Update #2
August 3, 2019
The day began early for a few of us as we embarked on an urban safari to find a marvelous morning brew. Chuck, Jeremy and I stepped out into the pleasant morning and strolled intently to a coffee shop nearby that we had scoped out the previous day. However, it was closed. So after some pocket computing, we navigated our way to a gas station close by. They had just enough of the coffee elixir(although a day old) but it was sufficient.
After we got our things together we met up with the rest of the team and headed down the alley behind our apartments to our host family’s house where mama Carmen had prepared a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon, toasted bagels and, of course, coffee. While we consumed the fantastic feast, Carmen and Crystal (our Dream Center liaison) prepared and packed our sack lunches for us. God bless them!
When we had finished, we loaded up the team and headed to the main campus of New Life Covenant Church. Once we were all inside, we were introduced to Judy, the director in charge of setting up HopeFest. She instructed us on all the things that needed to be set up for the following days event. There is going to be a community resource tent with information for help and/or assistance with insurance, education, housing, and immigration. We set up tables and chairs for the volunteers so that it’s would be an easy flow of the volume of traffic. We also set up tables and chairs in the health tent where the children will be able to receive immunizations and dental check-ups.
We spent some time in the afternoon stuffing information flyers into 1,000 donated backpacks that will be handed out to all in need of one! The team also helped set up for the Kids Zone that will be filled with games and inflatables and face painting and other fun stuff for the kids to do. In addition to everything else HopeFest has to offer, there will also be a free haircut station! The church will have a mini service for each group of people that come through the door so they can experience the church and know that they are loved and that Jesus is there for them!
We finished with the set up early so we headed back to the apartment and did some more canvassing (passing out fliers) before we had dinner from Jimmy’s Red Hots! Chicago dogs for all! After dinner, we met up with Mario at the New Life Spanish campus where he filled us in on our mission for the night. We headed into downtown Chicago to offer dinner, socks, and prayer to the homeless people we encountered. It was an unbelievably humbling experience. Not everyone was receptive but most were and the prayers were powerful. There was definitely a stirring of the Spirit that was palpable. I personally was privileged to pray with my team for a young lady named Nicole who struggled with pain from blood clots in her legs. She was thankful that we came to pray with her and shared her tears with us. My heart broke for her and for every one of the less fortunate that we encountered during the evening. Please pray for them all. I know I will be.
Tomorrow is HopeFest—our day begins before the crack of dawn. Thanks for your prayers on our behalf!