Today's guest blogger is Christopher Davis. He is 19 years old and a member of the Carter Lake Road Church of Christ youth group.
|Christopher with his buddies (left to right) Taylor, |
Xzavier, and JJ.
Today was out group's third day here at Fortress, and I am noticing a trend in the way the kids are treating us. I am with the Junior High group this week and on day one the kids interacted with us but we were awkward because we didn't have any past connection. However, we slowly were able to befriend each of our kids on our first two days and today we were able to jump right in to conversation as though we had known each other for years. I am buddies with four boys, Coop, Xzavier, JJ, and Taylor, and I have found that even though we come from different backgrounds we still share some interests.
Coop and JJ flew through the math work that we did this week while Xzavier and Taylor had the never give up attitude to drive them to complete their work. When we played outside, all five of us gravitated toward the basketballs and nets to shoot some ball. They were showing off and doing things that I personally wasn't able to do at their age such as dribbling between their legs and shooting fade away shots (a shot that a person jumps back away from the goal making the shot harder). When it was time to come in all the kids came in with no fuss, but with their excess energy spent. We soon came to art class and the assignment that we were given today was to draw our favorite thing about the fourth of July. Now we had been drawing different things all week but today the kids were given colored pencils to use. Because of this they were able to draw with more detail and I will admit that their art was far superior to mine. I noticed one key fact though: their favorite part of this holiday season is the same as mine and that part is the fireworks. When I asked about it they said that they loved the color and the explosions.
However, my favorite part of today was at about 5:30. The Junior High group had gone to see a movie and were getting back at that time. We were all gathered into the main room and we had a little devotional. We sang a few songs and then Zack [one of the lead interns] gave a though. His topic was "What is Love." All the teens gave out different answers such as, "when you hug someone," or, "being nice to someone," but I thought of one of my favorite bible verses, and that verse fit perfectly with the lesson. I Corinthians chapter 13 as a whole, but focusing on verses 4 through 7.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand it's own way. Love is not irritable and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices when the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always helpful, and endures through every circumstance.
The chapter continues to say that "love will last forever." These kids know what love is and do show love to one another and to us as well.
It has been a blessing to me to be able to work with the kids this week, but that is not all our group has done. We have also done Urban Experiences as well. The first day my group went to the store, and we were given $ 0.90 per person to feed us all, which made our total $10.80. So my group decided to make spaghetti with green beans and sauce. For our meal we spent $8.34 and were able to eat our fill. However, the choosing of our food wasn't what stood out to me. I regularly eat spaghetti at home so it was a simple meal to decide on and prepare. What stood out to me was the bus ride to the store. Now I come from a small town that can be walked across in ten minutes so we don't have public transportation. Because of this, I had only seen busses in movies and at school and I was expecting something that was uncouth (messy, disorganized). What I experienced was a cool bus with friendly people. We were even able to start a conversation with some people. It also made me appreciate my family's cars and what a blessing they are.
The second day my group went on a prayer drive where we traveled around and learned the history and background of this area, and prayed over different areas.
Today was the real eye opener because our group went to homeless row and spoke to some of the people there. These people that we talked to had a great sense of humor and were even able to teach me something. These people are not like the people we see on the movies. Rather they are just people down on their luck. It was definitely my favorite part of the experiences.