This trip has been full of incredible experiences with people from many different walks of life, backgrounds, and situations. We’ve been able to serve with homeless, elderly, children, and even firefighters, but we’re learning that those labels don’t matter much, because they’re really all just “neighbors.”
From the first night we arrived, we’ve had opportunities to spend time with our new neighbors in different settings, hearing stories and sharing life. It is a beautiful thing to see our stories intertwine and become one story as we bless one another. In the best moments, no one is giving more than anyone is receiving, we’re all just here to be neighbors.
The leaders of Mission: Change, LaDonna and Todd Urick, have been incredible hosts to us, showing us life in Albany, as well as giving us perspective about the greater impact teams like ours have on this city. Though our role may sometimes seem small, we are playing an important role in some beautiful things, just part of which is the new community house we’re helping MC remodel this week. This house will provide a great place for neighborhood kids to break the cycles of poverty and violence that dominate their culture and seek a better path for themselves.
One of these young people is our neighbor, Deonte.
Deonte has become an honorary member of our team this week, sleeping in the MC offices, eating, painting, laughing, and serving with us. He could just as easily be spending time with friends or his brothers who are in a gang this week, but, instead, he has chosen to reach out to his city and serve. It can be easy for us to forget that Deonte is not the norm for Albany yet, but I’m praying that his example will lead others towards the same heart so that, one day, he will be.
Thank you so much for your continued prayers as we wrap up a great week, and we are also praying for those of you back home. May we all find this kind of passion for serving our neighbors in our own city.