2014 Ann Arbor Freshmen Spring Break Missions Trip

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Written by Eli Leiva

Hello Church,

I want to share with you a bit about my experience visiting Chicago for a week. I did not think much of what I would receive from the missions trip, but more of what I could give. Jesus had a different thing in mind though, He started chipping away at my pride and false self-sufficiency from the moment we got sent out. As we toured the city of Chicago and learned about the segregation of the past and of the tension that remains, I saw that God understood Chicago’s pain better than anyone of us, even the brother that was showing us around, but I also saw that God had not left them alone either. God had been working in Chicago on his own for quite some time, much to my surprise.

We visited Urban Youth Outreach, a Christ centered organization reaching out to youth in the community of Englewood. A group of us walked around praying over the neighborhood and asking people on the streets if they needed prayer. After being rejected by several people, I started asking God to “Please let us pray for at least one person.” This was a humbling moment. God was showing me I can’t even pray for someone without Him. My group walked along, and I felt pretty discouraged. Things were looking quite hopeless, with no one to pray for. Then, a green pickup truck pulled over and two ladies Dee Dee and Nay Nay were very kind to us and asked us if we were touring the neighborhood. “You guys should be up in downtown,” they said. When we asked if they had any prayer requests, Dee Dee asked for prayer regarding her afflictions and addictions, and Nae Nae asked for prayer for her man, who had been incarcerated. When God allowed me to pray for them and in that moment, He showed me his heart for those women. How much He values them and loves them.

In Chicago, I learned to appreciate the gift it is to partner with God to do his work, not because I have a certain amount of holy points or a certain knowledge of the Word, but because God graciously allows me to play a part in his kingdom work.