This past week, eight of our KiDS COR fifth graders each brought one parent along to share together in our very first mission trip to New York City! Wow—were they all amazing! We filled our days with opportunities to grow in knowing, loving and serving God and others.
We learned about immigration as we visited the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Tenement Museum, a place where immigrants came to live after they were accepted into America. We cleaned up a couple of community gardens, delivered Meals on Wheels (actually they were Meals on Foot ), worked in a food pantry and prepared a meal for 400 people at a soup kitchen.
The group listened to people’s stories of becoming homeless and how they are working their way out of homelessness. We visited the World Trade Center site and the Museum of Jewish Heritage to learn about the horrors of hate and the hope that comes when people seek to understand and love one another. We were warmly welcome as we worshiped in a synagogue and a church in Harlem.
We spent time at the Church Center for the United Nations where we learned about the importance of being involved in both charity and justice efforts as we serve others. We also were visited by the top official of the United Nations World Food Program who taught us to share the story of freerice.com, a website where anyone can play games and earn grains of rice for people around the world.
We thank God for this amazing opportunity to grow in our faith, and as we return home to Kansas City, we will be exploring ways to build relationships and serve here, as well. We feel blessed to have been a part of this journey.