I was going on my first mission trip in college. Not only was freshman year confusing, but for the first time in my life, I really felt homesick. I remember crying one night because Newark was ugly and cold. I was tired and scratched up from playing with children. By the end of the week I had learned a lot, but I didn’t think I would go back. Nope, next year I would go to the beach.
Hawkins Street Elemtary School - Photo by: Katelyn James
Year Two – 2008
Well… I went back to Newark and I remember having a good time. I was really tired, and had lost my voice by the end of the week. My camera had also been smashed (thank goodness for insurance) but the controlled chaos of the after school program we were helping run had kept me excited. Still, I didn’t shower for seven days because the water was like ice, and could never sleep because apparently girls can snore too. I was not going back next year. Nope, I was going to the beach.
Photo by: Katelyn James
Year Three – 2009
Yes, I went back to Newark. I swore I wouldn’t but I did. My camera got smashed (again) but I had a great time. I met a few interns that worked at the church, and I was beginning to really enjoy certain relationships with the children that now spanned three years. But next year was senior year, and I most definitely was going to the beach. Or just somewhere WARM.
Photo by: Katelyn James
Year Four – 2010
I really wasn’t going to Newark this year. I even told my sister, Kathryn not to sign up for the trip because I most certainly was finding something else to do. I deserved it! But alas… my plans were foiled and I could not imagine being anywhere else but Newark for my last Spring Break. I even wanted to go because I missed the ugly place and the disturbing streets and the rambunctious children.
So I went. And I loved it. And I’ll go back.
Within the next week, I will blog about updates from the trip. For those of you who have never read anything about Newark, NJ before, each year 15 to 40 CNU students travel to Trinity Reformed Church, in the Ironbound district of the city. We work in the school systems during the day, and help out with the after school program run by the church each evening. This year we also held community dinners every night, and had a team at another church down the street helping with a homeless ministry.
More to come…after my senior paper is turned in. I just couldn’t resist a little update ;) Click here if you would like to see pictures from this week on The Inspired Design website.