Wednesday, April 12, 2006
After graduating from Westmont College in 2004 I spent a year as a missionary intern living in the inner city of Chester, Pennsylvania.
This is a city where God is working miracles, everyday bringing beauty out of the ashes.
Chester is the third most economically deprived city in the nation; it has one of the highest crime and drug ratings nationally; and it frequently makes news headlines for it's deteriorating school system and corrupt city government. Most people who know Chester think of it as the city to drive around.
Living in the heat of the projects with 10 other missionary's that year taught me alot about prayer and spiritual warfare. Although there are no easy answers for all the problems of the city, our God is mighty to save. So starting a church and spreading the hope of the gospel is the best place to start.
As an intern I was able to get involved in a little bit of eveything World Impact Missionary's are doing in Chester.
I taught Phys. Ed. at World Impact's Frederick Douglass Christian school. (Here are pictures of my 3rd grade class stretching, and my Kindergarten class). I had a blast teaching K-5th grade classes!
Every week was a challenge coming up with new lesson plans and teaching strategy's but my students and teaching Staff were a joy to work with.
On the days and hours I wasn't teaching I was able to help lead Bible clubs for kids, youth, teens, and family Bible study's every week. Here are some pictures from each of these. Sometimes we picked up the kids around the city and brought them to our houses, and other times we held Bible clubs in empty lots or the FDCS gymnasium.
Throughout most of the year I discipled two teen girls, Ashley and Vera, my dear "sistas". They were saved in our Teen Bible club the month I moved to Chester and I felt like God wanted me to start meeting with them throughout the week. "We was kickin' it together with our other homegirls and homeboys" all the time and studied the Bible together. I would take them places outside the city, and did my best to show them what it means to be a Christian.
In Chester I was also able to help lead a scrapbooking club, and a gardening club most weekends. This was a great way to get to know the adult women in the city to build relationships with them.
Occasionally the other Missionary's and I would take groups of kids and family's up to the Pocono Mountains for summer or winter retreats. World Impact has a camp called Harmony Heart, and they allow us to take family's in our ministry, to gain fun camp memories they may not otherwise be able to have.
God allowed me to see Him work through many other ministries in Chester. I dearly love that city and the people there. Please keep praying with me that Satans strongholds will be broken and be replaced with peace. There are thousands of people there that He loves.
"Should I not be concerned about that great city?"- Jonah 4:11