Hello from D.C.

Highs, Lows and Buffalos!

600,000 Residents

400,000 Tourists per day

13,000 – 20,000 Homeless

$32,000 Average income

$600,000 Average housing cost

Greetings from the middle school mission trip in our nation’s capital. We have completed two days of service and a very fun Fourth of July. Our students have been cleaning pantries, cooking food, serving homeless, playing with children and being the hands and feet of Jesus around Washington, D.C., in seven different venues already.

Each day the team has shared their highs from the day. Here are a few examples:

  • “I loved talking with Mike. I didn’t even know he was homeless, he was so smart and interesting.”
  • “I loved how the children loved us the minute they saw us. It was so easy.”
  • “I really liked the nursing home and hearing all the stories one of the men told us.”
  • “I really felt that we helped out when we cleaned the pantry; the employees were so happy.”
  • “They were so joyful and inviting to us.”
  • “I talked with a woman for over an hour and she prayed for me!”
  • “I loved praying for the elderly. I have never done that.”

After sharing their highs, team members share their personal low-point of the day. Many of these moments have become the prayers of our hearts:

  • “The work was so hard, and I was really tired.”
  • “The clothing closet was so hot and uncomfortable, but what made it worse was when people had orders for clothes and there just wasn’t enough. We couldn’t help them.”
  • “I really didn’t like when this little girl cried when we left.”
  • “It was so hard when I had to give my lunch away.”
  • “I was really uncomfortable at first talking to people I didn’t know.”
  • “It was so sad to see all the mental illness.”
  • “It is sad to see how the kids treat each other.”

IMG_6795Finally, we shared “buffalos” – funny stories that don’t qualify as high or low. Make sure you find a returning middle school student and ask about their buffalos. This trip is generating many funny stories, including:

  • Cleaning a moth-infested pantry.
  • “They told me I look like Donald Trump.”
  • “A little girl peed on me!”
  • “We talked for 45 minutes, and I have no idea what he said.”

The most amazing testimony of God’s goodness here in D.C. is watching the Lord move in the hearts of our students. They are sensing the Savior’s call as He says, “Love one another as I have loved you.” They are witnessing firsthand the depravity of mankind. Their ideas and beliefs and fears are colliding with a good and gracious God. Sixth graders are having new experiences and learning about cultures in a new way, seventh graders are beginning to become leaders as they develop skills, and our eighth graders, who are preparing to enter the unknown world of high school, see glimpses of a faithful, steadfast God here.

Have you read the stories of The Great Adventure this summer? Have you prayed for our church’s trips, camps and outreaches as we extend our hands to our community and world? Have you noticed how amazing our church body is, that we embrace a summer of prayer over each of these trips? I hope you’ve taken the opportunity to be a part and don’t miss out on seeing our loving Father nurturing our youth in this way.

The middle school team looks forward to sharing more as they experience three more days of God’s goodness through difficult acts of love and conversations of His Glory.