Today was our first day of actual mission work. To start the day we met with a woman named Deborah, who is a social activist in DC. She talked the group through the population density of Washington D.C: 650,000 people in 7 square miles. To compare, Spokane has 209,000 people in 60 square miles. Every month 1,000 people move into the city causing lots of new apartment buildings resulting in a lot of displacement. She then explained to us about three different types of poverty (generational, cyclical, emergency) and how each type had its own difficulties on how to overcome it. In order to get a good understanding of the different income levels in D.C., Deborah took us on a little field trip, where we split into two groups and walked down different blocks in downtown. Through this, we gained a lot of perspective over how many citizens live in poverty.
For our work projects, we once again split into 2 groups to go out and serve. The first group, work group 3, went to an organization called A Wider Circle. This organization provides free furniture, toys, kitchen utensils, and even nicer outfits for job interviews for people who live in poverty and who are in need. Our group worked together to sort through donations of kids toys and linens and pick out the best to put out on the floor for people to have. After discarding some creepy toys and a few rugged books, we were able to clean up the storage room and make a real difference for the organization!
The second group (work groups 1 and 2) went to Washington Parks and People, located near Marvin Gaye Park. The organization cleaned up and lowered crime rates in the park. In addition they help the local community with food needs and community projects. We worked with a man named Kenny who works in the community garden that they run. We picked all the weeds out of the garden and watered all of the plants. We then walked through Maryland and back to the metro and made our way back to the pilgrimage to eat dinner, play games, and worship.
- Ashley, Ryan and Mallory