Hello, Dear Reader!
This week, I’m with Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church out in Stockton, California for our mission trip experience this year. I hope to sneak away here and there to write up blog posts to share about our service to God throughout the week. For new readers, welcome! For regular readers, enjoy / endure as the week goes on.
If you’re new to this blog, I recommend you either subscribe via RSS, subscribe via email, or look for posts tagged “ssp.” This way, you’ll always know exactly when the latest news and photos are available. You can also follow the @SSPStockton Twitter feed.
Here’s a little HAUMC, Stockton, and SSP context…
We’ve returned to Sierra Service Project (SSP), our first experience with them since 2014, to do service in a new setting, Stockton, California. When the housing market crash hit in 2007-2008, Stockton had the highest foreclosure rate per capita in the nation (housing values dropped a full 44%) and the city has been in recovery ever since. In 2012, it was the largest US city to declare bankruptcy until Detroit did so, too, in 2013. It’s a community that can use a few extra hands to do some physical, emotional, and spiritual rebuilding. (Note: I’m no Stockton situation expert, and will do my best with the information presented to me.)
SSP has a mission to build faith and strengthen communities through service to others. It’s a Christian non-profit organization that helps young people get the chance to serve through a highly-organized, multi-site experience. Many churches, families, and high school students seeking service hours find their way to SSP, and HAUMC is here once again, our first time since 2014 when we served at the Smith River site.
Hennepin Avenue UMC is sending 14 young men and women plus six adults this year. Around a third of us have worked with SSP before, and around half of us have done mission trips before, so our experience going into this experience is varied and that’s a good thing. We hope to learn from each other, help each other, and even surprise ourselves along the way.
We’ll spend a day in San Francisco on either end of the trip plus spend the week in Stockton. You can expect updates on where we are, what we’re doing, and how we’re feeling, plus lots and lots of photos (and maybe a video or two, if possible).
What can you do back home?
- Pray! Pray for the 65+ people from 6+ churches who are serving in the heat of Stockton this week. Pray for the people who need a hand. And pray for the SSP staff who are coordinating all of our projects.
- Subscribe, read, and comment on posts! We hope to read your comments to youth like “letters from home” throughout the week.
- Be patient! The schedule is packed and finding the time to sneak away to blog may be a little tricky. I will do my best, Dear Reader, to keep you posted.
See you soon,