Carmel Youth on a Mission
July 2018 – Puerto Rico
In July 2018, twelve Carmel members/friends of Carmel headed south to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico for a mission trip. Moved by the destruction of hurricanes Irma and Maria, we felt compelled to be present with our brothers and sisters of the island. Little did we know that we would leave with more than we had come to give.
The physical damage that we witnessed was certainly devastating, but the hurricanes couldn’t put a dent in the spirit and faith of the Puerto Ricans we encountered. As we painted and scraped, fixed a roof and cleaned up debris, we were continually moved by the hospitality and generosity of our hosts and the community. We were invited into homes, given cold sodas and fresh coconuts.
Our group leaders were patient with our Spanish, teaching us new words and even a song or two. They prayed over and for us each day, blessing us with their faith and love. Our group experienced the love of God through the people of Puerto Rico, especially the communities of Iglesia Metodista Buen Pastor and Iglesia Metodista San Juan Moderno. We were truly blessed through our experiences that week.
August 2017 – Philadelphia
In August 2017 we stayed close to home to aid in the mission of the Broad Street Ministry right here in our city of Philadelphia. Our small but mighty group of eight, stayed at Broad Street Ministry all week and traveled each day to work sites throughout the city. Our focus included homelessness, hunger, and other social justice issues faced by the Philadelphia community.
We served meals at Breaking Bread, the restaurant at Broad Street, sorted food at Philabundance and Manna, worked in the garden at Aspen Farms, and even painted chairs for use at worship and dinner service. Throughout the week we connected with church groups from Washington D.C., Lancaster, and Maryland.
The week was not all work, we took some time to experience poetry from local artists, worship with wonderful musicians, and saw historic sites like the MOVE house. Overall, it was an experience of service and community that impacted us deeply.