So it has officially been 12 days since we have started this journey through faith and God and now we are getting everything packed and heading home to Moorhead and Fargo, with both sad and strengthened hearts.
So my Detroit experience has been unique compared to others. I left Camp Emmaus July 10 early in the morning and arrived in Alexandria to get picked up by all of my friends. Coming into this trip I did not know what to expect, but now, I would not have had done anything differently. From reconnecting with old friends, to blossoming new ones, I have cherished my time with my friends in faith. One of my personal highlights comes from today, having a send off service for our seniors. Watching them grow up is eye-opening. Coming home will be one of the hardest days in my summer, for not being able to be with such an amazing crew will break my heart. But I know that these people will always be in my heart, as well as God! I must thank the friends of faith for giving me this life changing experience and thank you to all my friends. I love you all dearly and I am already missing Detroit with all my heart. I hope all of you had an enjoyable time reading this blog and I wish you all a spectacular rest of the summer!
Hello! I have the great pleasure of getting to blog on the last day so I get to tell you about my entire trip! My trip started out very well. I had so much fun in Chicago! I got to walk around a beautiful city with my best friends. The next day the beach which was amazing! except that I was wearing expired sunscreen so my back ended up being the color of a fire hydrant. Then there was our day in the amusement park! Where I had a blast getting completely soaked on all of the water rides. Now all of this was awesome but nothing can describe the amount of emotions I had when we finally drove into the motor city itself, Detroit! I must admit I wasn’t expecting it look the way it did. The city looked normal and sure there may have been some graffiti but not the kind of damage I had thought, until we finally got to our proclaim justice day. Where we got to go out into the city into the neighborhoods of Detroit and that’s when it hit me. Home after home was either abandoned or destroyed. Being able to go and help even for the short amount of time we did was probably one of the best moments of my life. Being able to see and talk to the people who lived there was amazing! Everywhere you went someone was thanking you for what you had done. It was life changing. We rose up together and made a difference! This trip is something I will never forget and I am so sad that is over but, I know the friendships we have made will carry on forever
Hello, the trip to Detroit and back has taught me 2 things . First be grateful for what you have, and second no matter how many friends you went with you definitely came back with more. The reason why I was taught to be grateful for what you have was from the service day project. For instance when we were walking through one the suburbs of Detroit I noticed how many houses were boarded up and even the ones that weren’t I thought maybe they should and one of the houses I had thought was abandoned I saw a young boy walk out then the rest of his family and as I saw him run over to throw a football around with his friends it made me realize how privileged I am to be able to take a shower when ever I please or to be able to afford to go on a trip like this one. The second thing I learned was that no matter how many friends you went with you definitely left with more. I learn this by the progression we all took to getting to know each other on the trip, for instance on the way down when we were playing bus games I have to say it was a bit awkward switching seats every 2 minutes to talk to someone who you maybe have never even heard of, but by our last night in Eau Claire you could have easily started a conversation with just about anyone. This trip not only taught me those things though it also was a fantastic experience. Some of the highlights for my trip included going to the Cedar Point Amusement park, going to Hard Rock café, going to the Navy Pier, staying in the Motor City Casino-Hotel, going to Ford Field, the gathering itself and hearing the Motown All-Stars sing classic hits like “My Girl”, “Ain’t to Proud to Beg”, “I Want You Back” and many more. While has been perhaps the most fun I have had all year I am excited to see my parents and to sleep in my own bed, but I do think that long after we have graduated we will look back at the great memories we had on this trip.
I’d have to say my very favorite part of this trip was going to the less fortunate neighbor hoods of Detroit and helping them with cleaning up garbage, cleaning out houses, and just simply trying to make it a more family friendly place to be. All the things that the people living in those houses were emotionally unstable to do. The trip to Detroit was pretty fun too. Spending a day walking around Chicago was definitely memorable. We got to see what life was like in a big city for people who we less fortunate, and for those people who are definitely very fortunate. Seeing those who were less fortunate in both cities really made me see a new perspective on how grateful we all should be about what we have back in Moorhead. I’m also so grateful that all of our amazing group leaders gave us the opportunity to go see new and fun places. Going to the zoo, aquariums, museums, waterparks, and amusement parks were all stuff they were willing to do. They wanted us to not only help the people of Detroit, but to also have fun, and they definitely gave that to us.
The experiences all of us have been able to share throughout our trip have been amazing! It fully hit our group last night that our time together is almost up for this trip. We have shared many memories from making new friends, meeting the people in Detroit and being able to live in community with them, to being able to feel welcomed by everyone else on the trip. This group of youth and adults have truly lived out their faith in their day to day actions. They have welcomed their neighbors, stayed positive when things might not have gone exactly according to the plan, they were open minded and willing to go out of their comfort zone if that is what the moment called for, they also created a space where every voice could be heard. Many times throughout the trip I was told by adult leaders from other groups and from people of Detroit how much they appreciated the FiF youth and adults! I want to say thank you to all the youth and adults for sharing their faith and being a part of this trip! Each person brought something different to our group and our experiences wouldn’t have been the same without them. Ashley
Thank you to everyone who supported the youth and Friends in Faith! You helped create so many wonderful memories for our group. We invite you to join us at the Stockholder’s Banquet in September so we can share our stories and pictures with you!
Our small group thanks you, and we can’t wait to see all of you back home!
Hannah, Isaac, Seth, Kate, and Ashley