Daily Update from Chicago - Kate Pletcher/Claire Redding

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.