Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day Eight: Emmaus Ministries Mission Trip

Well, it was our last day. Some of us went to Mass for the last time at St. Mary of the Lake Parish Church. We will miss it. We had our last morning prayer group. Some of the folks cooked and cooked and cooked. Tiffany cleaned out a fridge and Amanda cleaned the apartment.

There were lots of occasions to say goodbye. We said goodbye to the staff, to the Kaio community, to the M.C. staff and to the guys. We also said goodbye to Cody, a 13 year old dog who learned to accept us.

Nora had a portrait made of her by Nick. Nick is one of the art interns at Kaio. Nora had a colorful veil on and the portrait is a keeper. Amber had the satisfaction of seeing her left-over lasagna go home with one of the guys. Scott got to see the E.M. folks appreciate his plumbing work in the kitchen and bathroom. It was a time of tying loose ends together.

The final meal at Emmaus was bitter sweet. It started with Amanda singing The Servant Song. It is a beautiful song that fit the week and Amanda has a beautiful voice. It was clear the students and the guys really connected. We were no longer surprised at the heart felt prayers the men expressed. Some of our students were surprised at the tears some of the men shed at our leaving.

So, it was an exhausting week and an incredible week. Our worship and reflection time got better each day. I particularly appreciated Nora (our Muslim student from Malaysia) leading worship. She taught us the Muslim teaching on compassion and caring for your neighbor. It felt very familiar. It was a week of experiencing all that a multi-cultural city had to offer. It was a week of walking, of the lake, of worshiping at many different houses of worship. It was a wonderful week.

There were lots of lessons to learn. We did a very good job and next time it will be even better. However, we came to serve and we were servants. We came knowing transformation was possible and we left changed. We brought a little bit of Indiana to Chicago and we leave bringing some of Chicago back to the University of Saint Francis. It will be good to be back home. It was great to have been in Uptown and with the men of Emmaus Ministries.

Peace and all Good,

The Servant Song

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