We began our summer with a mission trip to Broad Street Ministries in Philadelphia with our youth group at Market Square Presbyterian Church.
The trip began with a train ride to Philadelphia following Sunday morning service. The train ride offered a laid back atmosphere to get to know some of the youth better. Once in Philly, members of the Broad Street staff, Bakim & Mike, greeted us and took us to the church via subway, a new experience for most of the youth.
Broad Street Ministries is located in the heart of the city on the avenue of the arts, in an old Presbyterian church.
Find out more about the church and ministry here.
Our week was filled with various volunteer opportunities throughout the city. We both had a very different week, as we were a part of different groups. Some of the projects we were a part of included cleaning up a park, making food at a group home, serving lunch at the church’s weekly lunch for the homeless, working on art in the church, organizing donated clothing, and working in a food bank. Each evening we would have a recap and debrief of the day, followed by fun and games...
Overall, it was a successful week and a different experience from youth events we’ve been a part of in the past. We enjoyed getting to know the youth from Market Square, as well as other groups at Broad Street. Upon return from the trip, it was a hard realization that we would be leaving this church having just built such great relationships. We hope to stay in touch with youth and adults and someday return to Market Square.
After our trip to Philadelphia, we headed south to North Carolina on a road trip. Dan and I have been interested in Asheville, NC as a possible home for our "planned community." We figured this would be a great time to check out the area. We spent a few days getting there, visiting Shenandoah National Park and Jefferson National Forest and camping at remote campsites along the way. Once in North Carolina, we visited Hot Springs where Dan was able to experience his first White Water Rafting trip on the French Broad River (as I'm sure you can imagine, he LOVED the name of the river about as much as he loved the adventure!).
Finally, we headed north to Indiana to visit friends and family. We first stopped by Ashley and Travis's house in Columbus for a few days. After an unsuccessful day of jet ski-ing, we decided an evening of camping would be fun. We headed out to the campsite and set up around 10pm then relaxed around the campfire catching up on the past few months.
Next, we were off to my parents house in northern Indiana for a few weeks. Dan was able to learn some much needed farming skills and together we helped my parents clean up an overgrown orchard.
We took a weekend trip to Chicago to visit Kyle and some college friends, where we were able to expereience a free concert in the park by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Upon return, we stopped to have dinner with Bethany - catching up on travels and job prospects. We ended our time visiting Matt at his new townhome in Indianapolis. As we headed back east, we took a pitstop in Ohio to visit Ryan and Danielle for lunch to catch up.
Now back in PA, we're still enjoying the rest and relaxation summer brings, but still spending time on the road visiting family and friends out here. We hope to visit everyone we can as we will be gone at least a year...maybe more!