Burg To Baltimore Recap (video)
With gear packed, snacks in the coolers, and a van full of Middle and High school girls we began our first UMA mission trip to Baltimore!
Day 1 -- We partnered with East Baltimore Gafitti Church to invite people out to a festival at Mund Park. Some of the girls joined with leaders to go door-to-door telling neighbors about the park and praying for those they met. Others stayed back to prepare the festivities at the park. Going door-to-door was new for most of our girls but they were willing and stepped out of their comfort zones to share with others. At the beginning, one one of our girls helped pass out flyers but by the end she was the one knocking on doors, inviting the neighbors to the festivities, and asking if she could pray for them! It was awesome to see their confidence grow. By noon, adults and children began arriving at the park. The girls painted faces, passed out hot dogs, and played games with those in the park for the next few hours -- until we were all worn out! We headed back for short naps, a pizza dinner, and lots of Mafia games!
Day 2 -- On Sunday after church, the girls continue to show love to the community of East Baltimore by helping with two community gardens. As we were pulling weeds and planting flowers, I got to ask one of the girls what she’d been learning so far. She said she learned, “how God can change anyone’s life no matter what they’ve done”. She shared how she had met a girl in the park who showed her the scars she had from cutting. Her first thought was “why would she do that” but she felt God telling her not to judge and to ask her story. She found the girls story had some similarities to her own -- as the other girl had overcome challenges at home, depression, and cutting through the love of Christ and other believers. She said she also learned through that new friendship, she was able to connect with others through sharing her story and listening to others.
Day 3 -- After a night exploring the inner harbor of Baltimore, our final morning was spent serving lunch and touring Helping Up Mission, a recovery center for those with addiction. It was neat for the girls to learn how people can overcome some of the hardest situations and regain hope again.
Overall it was a special time together as the girls opened up through our nightly debriefs about how they had learned a lot about the people of Baltimore, their stories, serving, and loving all people well! Throughout the trip it was a delight to see God working in and through them in different ways and we hope to do a similar trip again!