Today was a “half day” but a full day, Dear Reader! Read on for updates on morning work projects, afternoon outings, and a night at the ballpark.
Rippling Hope Spreading Far and Wide
Team #2 went to work with Rippling Hope for the morning. Started by husband-and-wife missionary team Carl and Robin, they kicked this ministry off 8 years ago after working with many church ministries throughout their lives. However, when funding shifted they were invited to Detroit to try something new and here they are to stay. How do we know? They just bought a house and are planting roots in the community they’re trying to help cultivate into something beautiful. I admire their courage and their trust in Jesus!
Much of their work is in home repair, beautification projects like Free Little Libraries, plus a lot of work for animals. There are cat colonies all over the city, because sadly as homes become abandoned so do animals. Dogs and cats are wild and need change, too. Rippling Hope creates outdoor cat shelters (almost like Free Little Libraries without the stand) and work with the Animal Human Society to do TNR work. That’s “Trap, Neuter, Release.” They help trap the cats, the AHS neuters and spays for free, and they’re released to the same areas they know. Our work with the animals came in the form of hauling bags and bags of donated and low-cost bags of dog food and unloading a pallet of cat food bowls to donate to local residents. Our main work was at Ms. Stafford’s home.
Many homes have a run-down look on the outside. The tough part about that is if it looks a little rough outside, the interior is likely more than a little rough, especially the parts one can’t immediately see where rotting, etc. can take place. Still, without a lot of money to get to the much-needed renovations and upgrades, some organizations are doing priority repairs (stairs, for example) and beautification to build pride and rebuild morale until major repairs can be done. That was our job today at Ms. Stafford’s home. We broke into two groups, with 8 of us chipping then repainting the wide porch to give her home a cleaner, brighter look. The stairs had just been repaired by another group and that’s key: you can’t make it to dialysis 3-4 times a week if you can’t get out of your house! I appreciate Rippling Hope making practical repairs a priority.
Meanwhile, Jenna and I headed inside to replace and/or install a series of smoke detectors throughout the home. At one point, we needed an extra 9-volt battery, so we hopped in the van and ended up with an extra tour of the city. We saw several giant buildings, now shallow husks of yesteryear. Smashed windows, overgrown razor wire fencing, crumbling concrete barriers. One giant factory had the gates wide open. Anyone could walk in there, including little kids, which frightens me a bit. We also saw a few homes which had burned down to the foundation, the scorched wood and blasted brick still there. I don’t know who’s responsible for cleaning that up. The city? The owners? Insurance? Volunteers? All I know is if you’ve already got abandoned homes in your neighborhood, having a few burned down remains sitting there for years is not going to improve morale.
Oh, remember how we learned yesterday that Detroit is a food desert? We decided to try for a grocery store instead of a convenience store to get the 9-volt battery at a decent price. We found a small grocery store that had 2 9-volt batteries in stock, each a brand I’d never heard of, for $1 each. There aren’t a lot of places to go for resources, it seems.
Team #1 finished their time with Joy Huss for a two-day experience there. It’s the only experience we don’t both get as teams and we simply have to keep each other informed. For example, Team #2 was at Rippling Hope today and Team #1 will go there on Thursday. We’ll spend some time together on Wednesday and Friday, too. It’s nice to have a mix of shared experiences and unique experiences. It makes for a good balance of common memories and stories to tell each other.
Big City Downtown!
After lunch and showers, we split into two new groups. One group took John Wesley’s Gracemobile on an historical tour of the city. They stopped off at a water park and for ice cream before parking downtown.
Charles Wesley’s Holy Roller took a group geocaching, looking for buried treasure in the distance between Metropolitan UMC and downtown Detroit. A few took us to underpass bridges with cool art installations and one brought us to the plant where the very first Model T cars were built. It was amazing to be at the place where, literally, the first cars ever were built!
The cloud cover finally backfired on us, as we all found ourselves walking around downtown for dinner in the rain. I admit, I was pretty miserable and concerned my shoes wouldn’t dry out for the next day as thoroughly as I’d want. But it all worked out. In fact, the rain gave way to some nice, floaty clouds that cooled the night with a light breeze for the ballgame. Hot days? Absolutely! A cool night out? You betcha!
Take Me Out to the Ballgame!
We converged on Comerica Stadium that night for the first night of a 2-game interleague series between the Detroit Tigers and the Cincinnati Reds. The Tigers took it, 2-1, with only a few hits for both teams. Personally, I was pretty excited for Mike Gerber: he had been called up from A farm ball that day to make his major league debut and he had a great RBI in the second half of the game that took the Tigers into the lead. Tap the link to watch the video of his first major league hit. Great start to your career, Mike!
No EG with the late night at the game. Most folks went straight to bed. I’ll say this for our group: they work hard in the day and sleep hard in the night. No real night owls, and it’s been refreshing to see teens turn off their phones to charge them at night. How do I know this? Well, at least in the men’s bunk room the only outlets are over by the adult chaperones so I have several teens plugging in their phones right by my bed. The lack of abundant outlets helps teens get to bed!
Tomorrow we come together as one large united team to do work at two farms, D-Town and MUFI (pronounced “Muffy”). Stay tuned for more details and thank you for all of your support. Your prayers truly matter, Dear Reader! And here are a few photos for you, as always!