PackYourBags went to Chicago and Milwaukee! We were immersed into cross cultural and inner city ministry and we experienced big city life. An energized PYB team + the big city = Loads of fun!
Chicago was my first inner city experience. My heart broke for those sitting on the streets. My group and I stopped and prayed for anyone who allowed us to pray for them. I thought I was doing a great thing for them, when in reality God was changing my heart and mind through these people. -Shaela
We walked to a busy corner with several bus stops to give people hot chocolate and offer prayer. One woman declined the hot cocoa, but requested prayer for her living situation. Just that simple act of stopping to listen and pray, showed me that sharing God's love and heart is easier than I ever imagined. -Hannah
One of the people we passed was a 16 year old boy who had been shot in the leg. He asked if we had food, and one of my PackYourBags sisters graciously gave him her milkshake and I gave him a water bottle. His eyes lit up, he smiled, and said, "Thank you" over and over again!
After seeing all of the need in Chicago, I now feel a calling from God to do inner city missions and to try to make a positive impact in the homeless community. -Josh
While we were praying for a man named, Ryan, God really showed me His heart for the hurting and the needy. God gave me a broken heart for poverty stricken people that I didn't have before. -Stephen
A 40 hour experience of what it is like to live in poverty.
The poverty simulation pushed me in ways I can't even begin to explain. It constantly challenged me and forced me out of my comfort zone on several occasions. It expanded my views of the world and gave me a deeper love and compassion for people. -Dusty
I was hungry and no one offered me food. I was cold and no one offered me warmth. I was helpless and all I could do was cry out to God for help. I simply had to endure this for forty hours, but what about those who live like this? My eyes were opened. I can never go back to turning a blind eye, nor do I want to. -Noa
Not only did we get to go through the experience of the poverty simulation, we also talked and prayed with individuals in the area and blessed them with some hot chocolate. This trip really impacted me and I will never be the same. -Jay
Health Clinic Outreach
Over 300 people in poverty attended a free health clinic. They received eye care, health education, a hot meal, hygiene products, and a bag of groceries.
I realized how the smallest things can have the biggest impact. I met a little girl named Keisha. She was very sweet and when I spoke to her, her face lit up. She was so excited when I asked her about her new books. She shared her excitement because I was willing to stop and listen to her. -Breanna
We helped put on a health clinic in Milwaukee where homeless or those in poverty can receive care for free. It showed me that there are diverse ways to do ministry. Opportunities and potential are unlimited! -Chrisanne
One of my favorite things was the free health clinic. I worked in the First Time Registration area. This pushed me out of my comfort zone because I had to talk one on one with people and interview them so I could fill out important forms. It was fun to just talk and love on people. -Tori
Cross-Cultural Church Services
In Chicago, we had the opportunity to sit in some different cultural church services. My favorite was the Indian service. The best part was knowing these people were worshiping Jesus, but in a way that spoke to them best. "It's not how you worship, but who you worship." -Mariah
I'd say I'm in the mud room of their culture. I know now how to "take off my shoes" before coming in. I won't burst in with my own assumptions, but come respectfully and ready to learn from these wonderful people of other cultures. -Guy
We were able to experience Indian, Arabic, and African services. It was inspiring and amazing to see the different ways that all cultures can worship one God, a God who is powerful enough to unite all of the nations in worship and praise. Everyone was intent on bringing glory to the same God, that is powerful! -Shannon