Becoming a Part of the Work…

Today was our first work day in Detroit. We spent our time at various locations in the Pride Neighborhood. Our work included clearing vacant lots of trash and tall weeds, sealing a front porch, painting furniture, cleaning gutters and removing overgrowth from a yard/fence. At our first work site, the home owner spent much of the morning making us a lunch that included fried chicken, corn, and ravioli. The guys spent nearly two hours helping her in the kitchen, and the meal was AMAZING!

All around, it was a great day! As part of our journaling tonight, we wrote down stories to share on this blog:

“My favorite part of the day was when our group and another group helped Miss Barbara, a sweet lady, stain/paint her porch (also we worked in a lot across the street from her house). In the lot a man came along named Johnny. He told us that he helps cut weeds and stuff every day, even if he doesn’t have any help. Going back to Miss Barbara, while her porch was being worked on, she went to the store to get chicken for lunch. She asked Alexander to help her cook, and he had me come along to help. She appreciated everybody’s help, and we appreciated her for making us all lunch.” – Brock

“When I thought about this trip and what I expected to see in Detroit, I visualized broken homes, neighborhoods and communities. After working for just a day, I realize now how wrong my assumptions were. Yes, there are “broken” homes, abandoned and in need of serious repair, but there are also beautiful homes. In no way would I describe these neighborhoods and communities as broken, though. In fact, many if not all are stronger than any I have seen where we live. People walking on the streets or sitting on the porch say “hello” to each other; kids play in the streets together; the community opens up its home to us , even though they don’t know us. Detroit, in my eyes, can still be strong, even through all that has happened.” – Eliza

“One fun thing that happened [today] was talking with the people from Northern Detroit while sealing the deck at our first house. Listening to their banter was funny.” – Alexander

“I loved having an opportunity to actually meet and talk personally to two of the ladies we helped today. Barbara graciously fried us chicken and served us on her front lawn. And later, Diane (who needed gutters cleaned and some caulking around her front door) shared with me the story of how she found her dog, Trey, and the great companion she’s been to her for 14 years. Now Trey is dying of cancer. In our talk, Diane shared her faith in God with me and was very thankful that God had brought us together. It’s the connections with real people that mean the most to me.” – Audra

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