Sunday, July 15, 2012

God changes things.

I got back from Philadelphia early  yesterday morning. To start out, let me say one thing: I was worn out.

It wasn't like any other trip I've taken before. I expected it to be a little more like a field trip, I guess. But I am so so glad it wasn't. Two of the six days were driving to Pennsylvania. I had time to bond with the youth group (it was a youth group mission trip, if I didn't explain that earlier. first time going somewhere without my parents or grandparents.). And then we got to the Salvation Army Church, where we were staying. From ten to three everyday we worked with a kids camp.

The kids were the worst kids I have ever met. They hit, they punched, they fought, they climbed on chairs, they ran and screamed in the sanctuary, they had dirty talk, they had no respect at all for their elders. So that made things . . . a bit challenging. ha. I knew there wasn't time to make them obedient perfect children. Instead I prayed, I took a deep breath, and decided to just love. Just play with them, just sing with them, talk with them and hug them.

At the end of the four days we had a different group. The kids were playing board games. BOARD GAMES PEOPLE. I prayed with two little girls. Actually, they were the ones who decided to pray and they took off. Never ever would they have prayed even if I had told them to earlier in the week. Never. So God worked. I was worn, my head hurt from so many little girls playing with my hair, my back was aching for so many piggy-back rides, my mouth hurt from smiling and my legs hurt from chasing so many kids. But God worked, and I didn't want to punch Henry-the-trouble-maker  (different kid than my brother by the way) in the face anymore.

At night I helped with a VBS. Dude, those kids are perfect compared to the ones earlier in the day! I had a good time with them. And tried not to fall asleep.

Then two of the four nights we packed lunches, water, Jesus comics and headed to some of the most horrible streets in America. Drug addicts were scattered along the street. Fights broke out. Dunks stumbled along the sidewalks. Ambulances screamed as they raced by.

Yet God was still there. We laid our hands on people and prayed for them. It was the first time I met a bisexual, first time I touched someone who was drinking beer right in front of me. I'll be honest. I was mad on the way home. Mad at God. I wanted to do something about it. But I felt like everybody was too lost for me to do anything. After talking with one of the youth, I realized God did care. He just has His reasons. And I'm a limited human. Instead of whining about how He doesn't save everybody, I needed to go out and share His love.

I asked God to help me do that the next night we went out. And He did. I was filled with this passion, this...hurt that I would've never had on my own (hey, I'm too selfish. just saying). I stopped being afraid of the violence and the filth. Stop worrying what they thought about me. I saw them as people, people like myself, people who needed healing. Who needed Jesus. And I listened to them, laid my hands on them. While they poured out their hearts to me, to God. I saw how hopeless these people are. They're so hopeless that they have no self esteem. They're broken people. They need an awesome Savior. I actually started crying (ok, sobbing) when I was praying with a lady who said she had just found out her mom died. These people have nothing. Oh, how they need Jesus! And how much I need Him...

It was challenging. I learned a lot. And I'm so going back next year, if we don't move too far. (speaking of that, more news on the move is coming soon.).

I became more passionate, saw God work, now have a close group of friends, a million inside jokes, and can say I ate a real Philly cheese-steak. Go to Philadelphia, hang out with the inner city kids, and pray on the streets if you ever get the chance. You won't regret it.

ps: more pics coming soon. cheers to dinky cameras!


  1. WOW. That sounds like an amazing trip!

  2. Sounds so awesome. I definitely have to go with you next year! :P

  3. It sounds so much like Manchester! Every day, even within our church, we face really tough decisions and through those hard times God has worked through us. Sometimes I wish we'd quit living in Manchester but God has called us to heal the broken through God. Congratulations Kendra, God's truly worked through you there. P.S: That kid club you talked about sounds like this club I work for every week. Ha. I once was stuck in the awkward situation of whether or not to tell on these kids who were swearing at each other and smacking each other and stuff.

  4. Wow. This was amazing, Kendra!!! Someday I want to go on a missions trip like this, but it seems my youth group doesn't go on many missions trip (sadly!) but hopefully I can convince my youth pastor to get a group of us together, go somewhere, and tell people about Jesus.


  5. Your trip sounds like such an amazing experience! So glad to read about all that you learned and did and how God worked through your youth group to help those in need! Great post Kendra! :)


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