Through October 3-4 we were busy with ministry in Chicago. During our time there we handed out care packages to homeless people on the street and we worked with the Asian Friendship Center in "Little India".
October 5-10 we made our way to Milwaukee. Once we arrived there we worked with City On A Hill Ministries. During our time with them we served at a feeding shelter, did door-to-door ministry, prayed for those we met on the street, and survived a poverty simulation.
The following are personal reflections from a few of the students:
"This trip was a great experience and made me see things in a whole new way. One of the first things we did in Chicago was going to the Magnificent Mile. There Tim, Bobbie, and I went on a mission to find a certain homeless person to give a bag of goodies to. Tim had an idea of who we were supposed to find, which was a person in a wheelchair, wore a black hat, younger, and a veteran. We stopped in a Chicago souvenir store right before we had to meet the team. With ten minutes to spare we saw this young man in a wheelchair. We stopped and talked to him for awhile and he was a vet and he had MS(multiple sclerosis). We got to talk and pray for him. This was one of the awesome things that had happened in Chicago." -Alyssa
"This trip was full of sight-seeing, good food, and fun in general, and it was also filled with hardships, struggles, and mental stretching. Everything was worth growing with my team, doing good works, and transforming myself. I feel challenged to make a difference in Billings – my hometown . God has done a lot to me throughout this trip. I feel a lot more open minded about poverty, and I would recommend this experience to anyone that has the opportunity." -Chandler
"The most impactful change in my thinking came from what Dave Echols (Missionary to Muslims) talked about. He said that many Muslims become atheists because they have several unanswered questions about their faith. I have always assumed that Muslims were extremely grounded in their faith, and it would be hard to change their view and convert them to Christianity. However, as Dave referenced, many Muslims just need answers, which is where we can come into the picture and reach out to those looking for explanations." -Rachel
"While in little India we went to the South Asian Friendship center which is a Christian bookstore, however this store also offers contextualized Christian services for Hindu and Muslim cultures. During the service we chanted in a different language, played instruments to worship God, and had fellowship with chai. Personally, I loved the service and would very much like to go back again. After asking questions I now have a better understanding of contextualization, even though we were participating in odd rituals like blowing into a shell or chanting, we were still worshiping God. The realization that Christianity can be adapted to different cultures is beautiful, the core values are taken and then the cultural aspects are added." - Bobbie
"My favorite part, and also most eye opening experiences were with the ministry City on a Hill, in Milwaukee. When serving at The Gathering (food shelter) I was able to walk around and build relationships with homeless people, and I was given the chance to sit down and learn stories from people. It was really eye opening to witness how friendly most of them were. I feel like I definitely grew with my PYB teammates on this trip. I believe that we became an even closer family. I think the team-bonding moments were the times that we spent praying and washing each other’s feet. To see that we all would serve one another really meant a lot." -Tim
"City on a Hill is an amazing organization. I don't think I would want to work with any other organization! They are doing some great things in Milwaukee and continue to do so. It was an honor to be able to work with them and the volunteers. Everything that we did there was something I’ll always remember." -Brittany
"During the Simulation, I experienced what it could potentially be like living in poverty. As we walked the streets of Milwaukee, I never felt so ignored or unimportant. People felt awkward talking to us. They looked at their phones as they passed by or they would simply walk the other way. It makes a person think, “How often do I avoid a person in need for my own convenience?” We should be willing to bless others without expecting anything back. That is what this week was all about, and I felt more blessed by the people who had nothing than I have ever by the people who have everything." -Rebecca