The NBC Summer Mission Trip to Detroit kicked off Tuesday with the long drive to our destination. The Lord provided safe passage to Inter-City Baptist Church, our home for the week, and we arrived a little after 5 p.m. (thank you for your prayers as we traveled!). After unloading and setting up the classrooms where we will stay, we gathered for dinner (thank you Kat Foley for the meal!) and then it was off to the mission field!
Our group joined with the interns serving in the Spread The Word ministry and we canvassed the city of River Rouge, inviting 7th-12th graders to the Cola Wars events to be held Wednesday and Thursday nights. The canvassing consisted of us driving around in vans, and as we saw youth, members of our youth group would jump out, hand them an invitation and talk to them about the event. Others were stationed at Memorial Park, the site of Cola Wars and a cook-out that will be held Friday night as well. Our youth group did a fantastic job spreading the word while putting aside any apprehension of speaking with strangers. It was a great experience that stretched us all beyond our comfort zones.
While canvassing, we learned more about the mission of Spread The Word and the work the interns are doing as part of Inter-City Baptist’s ministry. Each week they are targeting areas around Detroit and holding Cola Wars and finishing the week with a cook-out. Aaron Coffey and his group of college men are canvassing these neighborhoods and conducting the events in areas where Inter-City Baptist has established church plants. During the events, the team is coordinating while members of the church plants get a chance to connect with those in attendance. It’s a wonderful way to reach the masses, and we look forward to being a part of the activities at River Rouge.
As of the 2010 census, River Rouge had a population of 7,903. This suburb of Detroit is marked by industry, and it has fallen on hard times. As we canvassed the area Tuesday night, it was clear the needs, both economic and spiritual. It is a valuable reminder to everyone in our group, as it can be easy to take for granted that we live in a growing and thriving county in Central Indiana.
As rough as River Rouge appears, Wednesday we will take a tour of Detroit, and we’ll see some of the worst parts of the city. You don’t have to travel to a third-world country to see need… we have it right here in our own country.
After returning from River Rouge, we split up into groups for our POWER Group sessions. We will use these throughout the week for a time of Bible study, personal accountability and ministry responsibility. Once POWER Groups were complete, we had time for some games before beginning to wind things down shortly after 11 p.m. It was a full, and exciting, day.
Please pray for our group, Aaron Coffey and the Spread The Word team this week. As we continue to canvas River Rouge, pray that many will come out and participate in Cola Wars and the cook-out. Pray also that we can be a blessing to this area through a time of fellowship and outreach, and that decisions would be made. Pray specifically for our team, that this week would have an impact on our youth, their desire for God and for missions. Pray that we will be selfless with our time, bold in our actions for Him, and that God will use us for great things.