During the summer from 9th-12th grade, I did a service trip with my church called Urban Plunge. About 40 teens and adults (mostly teens) would go to St. Augustine and for 1 week, would fix peoples houses. There's a part of St. Augustine that few know about that is just as needy as the people in Haiti, South America, and The Philipines. We did everything from screening and yardwork to painting and putting in new floors all together. We were there to listen and be good neighbors to those in need. We ate lunch at the local soup kitchen and at night we slept on the floor of a class room of a local private school. Those 4 weeks changed my life. Not only did I learn the difference between a circular saw and a band saw (and used both!), but I met new friends, both fellow "Plungers" and the clients we served. I found my faith, my way and I recieved a true appreciation for what I was given, tangible and intangible.
A couple months ago at work I was looking at my vacation days and realized that I actually have more time than i knew what to do with it. So out of the blue I call a close friend (Jay) who has since become in charge of Urban Plunge and asked what he thought of me going as an adult chaperone. I was a little nervous: In the 10 years since my last trip, that faith that i found "my way" has gotten lost again. I didn't know if it was right for me to go and be a leader to these young christians if i don't have the answers to the questions they might ask. I voiced my concerns to Jay and he said that it was my decision. I felt 16 again. However, I talked to Barry and he was supportive. I just feel like this is what i'm supposed to do this summer.
We've had 2 meetings and I am really getting excited. These kids are so much fun! They're smart and whitty and I love it. We leave June 22nd. At our last meeting, the icebreaker was to interview our partner to be a Plunger. One girl said she enjoys going on Plunge so much because she loves that she's not pushed into church. She can travel her own path to find her faith. Its insane how these kids half my age can really hit it on the nail sometimes (no pun intended). Our motto is a bible passage, James 2:17. It states "Faith, without action, is dead." And that is what we do. We help place faith in the hearts of those who otherwise may not have any. We put faith in ourselves and each other. And I don't specifically mean christian faith. I mean faith in men. Faith in humanity. And sometimes... faith in God.
I'm really looking forward to this trip. :)