The day started off bright and early with our group’s 6:00 am shower time. Everyone was a bit groggy due to the previous night’s prayer tour around the city. We crowded into our vans and split off into two groups to see different sides of the city. From block to block, we encountered various economic situations and cultures. Our service group drove through neighborhoods with extreme poverty and gang violence, then quickly moved into areas with lots of wealth. While observing the city, we learned staggering facts and statistics about Chicago’s socioeconomic structure. After our early morning, we headed out to our service site in Chinatown. We helped run a carnival that was being held at a Chinese Christian summer program where we had the opportunity to run games and interact with the kids. There was a large difference in culture, and many of these children have grown up learning English as their second language. We all had a great time laughing and playing with the kids while simultaneously seeing a glimpse into their culture. Next, we visited low income housing for the elderly and played “Bingo” with them. We got to interact with some residents, and make small talk with them as we played the game. The residents brought a lot of energy and humor to the room with their excitement and dedication to “Bingo”, while also showing compassion to each other as they gave out their own prizes to those more in need. This evening, we had an amazing at an El Salvadorian restaurant and later connected with our smaller and more personal family groups to reflect on the day.
My name is Carter Morrissette I am a senior from Maple Grove High School and I am with Mount Olivet church on a mission trip to Chicago! Funny enough I am one of two incoming seniors on the mission trip the other being my best friend Hannah Kreye. I am also the only guy in a group of 11 girls (thinking I was getting a break from my sister back home) which have grown on me in the wildest of ways. Today, along with everyday, we start out with our bright and early showers at 6:00 am. I’ve learned to appreciate the magic of coffee so far on this trip because of moments like that. After showers we make breakfast and our lunches for the day but, for my group today was different. Like always we go to the YMCA camp for kids mainly from Lawndale Ave. (One of the most dangerous cities in Chicago). I chose too work with the kids ranging from 10-12 yrs. Old. The first time I walked in they asked me if I was wearing contacts in my eyes to change their color, with a chuckle I said “No” and quickly realized they probably don’t see many Blonde haired Blue eyed kids where they grow up. Later that day we went outside as a group (10-12 yr. olds) and played football, even the girls played and often would beat up on the boys. It was cool to see the fun they had playing knowing that most of them would never get a chance to actually play do to the situations at their home and where they live. As the afternoon progressed different aged classes came outside along with more of Mount Olivet volunteers. The funniest moment to me was when the younger girls had a dance contest but than after the other volunteers told them to teach me how to dance! As all the kids were outside we were told that we were going on a field trip, of course I was excited but our “field trip” was too Golden Corral. It really stuck me too see how the kids were so excited just to go to Golden Corral and got me thinking, these kids enjoy the small things and live every day with some sort pride and leap to their step! Golden Corral was a different experience with the kids, I have never seen a kid before stack six jalapenos on one French fry. Later after eating, my group headed to a Soup Kitchen led by a man named Mark and a woman called Mama T, both loving people who care about the homeless and those in need. Their soup kitchen isn’t funded by the government and is open 365 days a year! Every single day they come in to make the food and volunteers come into help because every hand is needed. I met some amazing people especially one lady who again marveled about my eyes so much she wanted me to lead the prayer which I did but very nervously I did so! My experience/experiences in the last few days have impacted my life already and have caused me to think non-stop about the people, especially the children in this city!
Since 1996 a group of Mount Olivet women have been meeting, discussing books, having desserts, and building relationships.
Group founder, Vicky Hubbell, saw the many small groups at Mount Olivet but none seemed like the right fit. Her love of reading and the rising popularity of book clubs led her to starting one at MO.
180 books later they've branched out from reading, to bookstore visits, attending author talks, and service projects.