So my project has ended 😦 But the memories have not! Because I slacked off in writing for the past couple weeks I will be doing a multi-part summary from the last time that I wrote.
So part 1:
The homeless simulation transitioned into homeless week. This consisted of homeless ministry and learning about poverty. I didn’t really know what to expect when it came to homeless ministry but I did know that it would put me out of my comfort zone.
What we ended up doing was packing extra lunches everyday and taking those out into the streets of downtown Seattle. We would talk around and find people who could use a lunch and that would hopefully be our window into talking with them. It was really interesting and fun to hear the stories that these people had. So many of them were really relatable and that made things more really and more heartbreaking. A common idea during this week is that everyone is just one paycheck away from being homeless, one bad event from being an addict; it really put things in perspective.
Each day we took our lunches got on our sea-foam green buses and drove downtown. We would split into smaller groups (with one guy per group) and then walk off to see who we could find. After the first day some groups tried to find a person they had connected with before. This allowed for deeper conversations and more chances to share Jesus’ love and forgiveness. However, I didn’t do that, but not doing that allowed for more conversations with different people and more chances to hear peoples stories. And the stories that they tell are so amazing that I can say I will remember some of them for the rest of my life. The stories of people who were doing great and then lost it all are just so heartbreaking. But we were able to learn so much and to encourage so many people. Though I can honestly say that some of the people that we talked to encouraged us more then we might have encouraged them.
But homeless week was about more than just sharing lunches and the gospel. We also spent the mornings doing team training. This training focused on poverty and the different kinds of poverty you can have. Yes, it did talk about financial poverty, but also about poverty of the soul and heart. It took a look into what God says about poverty and how that should relate to us and the way we act. It was really nice to have this training and to have opinions and knowledge shared by people who have done this before. The training and the ministry definitely changed the way that I view the city and the homeless.
After our homeless week we were given the weekend to see the city and to be tourists. It was interesting to be doing this because we had just spent the whole week with people who had next to nothing and here we were spending time doing unnecessary things that cost money others only dream of having. But it was amazing. We went to the top of the space needle, visited the Children’s museum, and the EMP (Experience Music Project). The EMP was filled with so many exhibits it was INCREDIBLE. There was a Jimi Hendrix exhibit that held on of his guitars, there was a Princess Bride exhibit that held her wedding dress, a Chronicles of Narnia exhibit that held some of those original props and so many more fascinating exhibits! I didn’t get to see all of it and so I missed the Women of Rock and Roll exhibit that held some clothes and guitars of women musicians (they had a dress and guitar of Taylor Swift’s). It was one of my favorite places that we went to that day. It was a great day to bond with the team and to see some of the personalities emerge through how playful they were and to see what some of their interests were.
That sums up the week after our homeless simulation. It was a very full week with little to no down time. There were so many good conversations with team members and with people downtown.