Chicago Dream Center Mission Trip 2019 | Update #4

August 4, 2019 | Lindsey Stevenson

Short, sweet, and to the point... this phrase provides a pretty accurate summary of our Chicago Mission trip. Though we only got to serve for four days, we did our best to make the most of our time. Our team was able to accomplish so much (as you’ve hopefully read in the last few updates) and were truly impacted by the opportunities we were given and the people we were able to meet. The team we partnered with at the Chicago Dream Center was absolutely incredible and welcomed us with open arms from day one. We built relationships and heard testimonies from the Dream Center staff and volunteers that we will likely never forget. Though our mission was to go and serve others in need, there were times where it felt like we received so much more than we could ever give. 

Today we had the opportunity to attend a church service at the New Life Covenant Church. The worship was fantastic, the message was powerful, and the people we met made us feel like family. Hugs, handshakes, and high fives were prominent all over the building, among both friends and strangers. A common theme our team noticed (and loved!) throughout our time in Chicago is that the people at New Life frequently greet others by saying, “God bless you!” Such a simple phrase can make a huge difference! It can immediately put people at ease and is a simple reminder that God loves them. Don’t be surprised if you see or hear our team members greeting others in this way- it’s something many of us would like to put into practice in our everyday interactions. 

After service, we got to serve on a variety of teams at the church! Some served at the cafe, others greeted at the doors, but the majority of our team served in children’s ministry. After we spent the day with over 1000 kids yesterday, I was worried that some of the team might be resistant to serving in the kids area. Fortunately, we have a team of rockstars who were super excited to jump in and hang out with the kids! They had a great time and provided some much needed relief and encouragement to the regular children’s ministry volunteers.

When we finished serving, we had the honor of being prayed for by the director of the Chicago Dream Center, Marisol, and then got to say goodbye to some of the people we’ve grown to love over the last few days. After getting the trailer loaded up and stopping for a quick lunch, we made our way back to Mishawaka. I was convinced that everyone would fall asleep as soon as we got on the road, but to my surprise, the van was louder than it had ever been as the team shared how much this trip meant to them and made plans to continue serving in our own community. It’s amazing to me what can happen when we step out of our comfort zone, look beyond ourselves, and let God lead. He can transform our hearts and our minds to be more like His- to love and serve others with grace and compassion. I know that for many of our team members, this was a starting point in their journey of serving God and His kingdom. I can’t wait to see the impact they have in our church and our community. It was truly a privilege to serve with such a humble, hard-working team. To God be the glory!


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