Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Chicago: Day Thirteen

I attend Mass at Mary of the Lake Church. It is a beautiful church with a diverse congregation. I love how it anchors the neighborhood. I love how it has rich and poor, black, white and Asian, chronically mentally ill and successful folks. I love the pillars, the frescoes and the history. However, I have been here many times. This is my home away of home. Today it is time for something different.

I go to Walt Disney magnet School. I can hear the music outside. I enter and I am welcomed by so many people. This is the Christ’s Oasis Ministries. It is a congregation whose members come from all over Africa. There are different accents, different dress and when they all get up and dance to the music, there are different styles of dance.

The band consists of drums, two key boards, guitar, there is a full choir. However, none of that is needed because you could not stop this group from singing.

I am one of only two white folks in a congregation of about 300. It doesn’t matter. I am the only Norwegian-American here, it doesn’t matter. I don’t know what to do or when to do it, it doesn’t matter. This is a warm welcoming congregation and I am happy to be here!

When I get back to the Kaio Community I am missing Cathi. I have had a wonderful morning but I am still a little bummed out. So I cook. I make curry rice and vegetables. I bake snicker doodles. The folks like them. They especially like not having to cook.

Nicole is sick so we trade outreach nights. I go out with Chris and work outreach from 10:00 to 3:00. It is a fairly quiet evening. I like that. I am tired and it is a good opportunity to get to know Chris better. It is also an opportunity to spend more time with the few guys we do talk to this evening.

My one concern is that the group of homeless teens that roam the area continues to get bigger and bigger. I also have questions about them. They always clean, how is that. They are rarely in the same area, where do they end up at night. What is clear is that many of them know and trust us.

After a long day it is time for bed!

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