Philly Day 1
Hi, this is Nick. I was asked to write about the first day of our mission trip.
As an introduction, I feel inclined to let everyone that we're all safe and sound in Philly! This first day came with a whole host of new experiences, environments, and interactions that really set the tone for the amazing work we'll be doing for the remainder of the week here. As the briefest of summaries, the kids we dealt with were wonderful, kind, and accepting, and the spiritual interactions we got to have with them were some of the best we've ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Philly is going to do some really wonderful things with all our hearts; that much is clear.
So we started off our day by arriving at Nelson's Park in North Philadelphia, where we were greeted by the sounds of dozens of kids of all ages singing camp songs at the top of their lungs, just as anxious to start the day as we were. We were quickly and energetically introduced to all the campers and counselors, and the love in these kids could be felt right away. One of the most immediately loving lines one of the kids uttered was, "I wanna hang out with him," after Danny finished introducing himself to the crowd. From our first moments on the grounds until the last, they never stopped showing us love for being there.
After introductions were all finished, our day of games and play began, as we were integrated into their regular schedule of games and fun. Between basketball, football, tag, kickball, and hide & seek, we certainly kept busy all day. These kids were so warm and accepting towards us, constantly keeping us busy with games and wanting to talk to us about anything and everything. The way they latched on to us so naturally warmed our hearts, and helped to quickly form bonds between us and them. As you can imagine, this was our opportunity -- as followers of Christ -- where we could sit down and have spiritual, Godly talks with them throughout the day. Whether it was us walking them through salvation and the Bible, simple questions about God and Jesus, or even what Heaven will look like one day, there was always something these kids were interested to learn about with our faith. Some of them even left with Bibles of their own, which we hope will continue to be a spiritual tool for them once we leave Philadelphia.
The rest of our day was also filled with lunch time with the kids, walking them down for an afternoon at the local pool, and easy relaxing once they were finally exhausted from the day. The afternoon even came to a close with a momentary thunderstorm that passed through our area for half an hour or so.
After a wonderful dinner cooked up by the staff at Nelson's Playground, we departed for a lesson by Tim Ahlgrim at our hotel, followed by a stop for ice cream before bedtime. All in all, today was an incredibly warm welcome to what we hope will be the rest of our week here, and gave us hope for what God has in store.
This is Nick signing off! Good night, and good luck!