Today our team was able to reflect upon and celebrate Jesus’s resurrection and the sacrifice He made for us. We started off our day at a church service led by a group of house churches (neighborhood church) at the SOS complex. It was amazing to spend the morning in fellowship and community with the people of Memphis openly sharing our struggles and together rejoicing in the Hope that we have. Today we were able to reflect upon our week and the ways in which we saw God work within the community and even in our own hearts. Over the weekend we spent time exploring Memphis, making a spontaneous drive to Mississippi for lunch, and learning as we walked the halls of the National Civil Rights Museum.
Perhaps it’s safe to say that this trip to the National Civil Rights Museum left the largest impact out of the weekend’s events. We were challenged to step into the shoes of those who blazed a trail. We were challenged to ask ourselves: What would I do if I lived in those turbulent times? Would I stand for what is right despite the definite oppression? We were challenged to examine the ways in which, today and in our own environments, we can stand up for what is right and what fears may be holding us back. The conclusion? Jesus Christ not only paid the ultimate price for us through His death on the cross, but He also restored hope through His resurrection. And so, we have nothing left to fear.
During the five hour car ride to Jen Cline’s house where we will be staying the night tonight, James DiLeonardi spotted a convicting quote on a billboard that read: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” (Edmund Burke). While, we cannot change hearts (only the Holy Spirit can do that), we can leave a trail containing the footprints of heaven everywhere we go. And it doesn’t take a lot. As Deven Watson said in discussion tonight, “God’s hand can work even in the mundane things of life.” We have been freed by the powerful blood of Jesus Christ, and so our only response left is to love others like He has loved us and to say yes to His calling each and every day.
Our Father has revealed much to us this spring break. May He continue to work in our hearts. We trust that He will complete His glorious work.
Today our team wrapped up a busy week of serving and being served by the Memphis community. Our team had the privilege to be Christ’s hands in feet in the Binghampton neighborhood through home repair and a community youth program. Our team that worked on the roof was able to create a strong bond with their homeowner and were also impacted by the families gratitude. “Along with roofing, I was able to spend my time off with the kids Collin and Jeremiah building paper airplanes and putting together race car tracks. This experience was not only fun for me, but also gave Miss Val a much needed break” (Eric Castigilia, Junior). Along with the relationships being built on the roof, the other half of the Taylor team was busy sharing Christ’s love with middle schoolers from the Binghamton neighborhood. Each year Builders (local middle schoolers) have the opportunity to design and construct a significant construction project in Binghampton to bring added value to the community. Builders work closely with architects, contractors, engineers and other relevant professionals throughout the process. This year our team was able to partner alongside this project and worked hard to build a pavilion for a community football field. “Seeing how these middle schoolers were developing their own leadership skills was so encouraging to me, because they are living in a place where they often do not have much of an advantage. The skills they are learning, and how they are encouraged through this program gives me so much hope for this area” (Jen Cline, Sophomore).
Throughout this trip, we have learned how God uses our ordinary tasks and projects to glorify Him. We have been able to grow closer in fellowship and experience God in new and different ways. God is doing big things in Memphis and we have been so fortunate to be apart of His kingdom work here at SOS ministries.
Rooftops, BBQ runs, devotionals, and nail guns. Just a few of the things that we have encountered here so far in Memphis. In our time here, we have been able to serve and be served by the city of Memphis. We have experienced heart ache and joy as we have been able to form relationships with the people here. At the beginning of the week, our team was divided into 2 different work teams; one has been working toward restoring a roof in need of desperate attention, and another has been partnering with local middle schoolers on spring break to form relationships through the gospel and construction work. It has been amazing to see the team work together to serve and be Christ’s hands and feet in this community. The work has gone much deeper than the nails on the roof. The team on the roof has been able to partner with the homeowner to form a relationship that has been able to foster real, Christ centered conversations. As for our team working with the local youth, it has been incredible to see the relationships formed between the Taylor students and the Memphis middle schoolers. In the past few days, we have been able to dig deep into hard questions and work hard on a construction project for the community. It has been amazing to partner with SOS, a ministry that understands what the community needs and provides in a relationally focused way. Our team is excited to continue to get our hands dirty and show Christ’s love in the community of Memphis.
- Safety while working on the roof
- Boldness to approach hard conversations
- Positive attitudes
- Gracious hearts
- Healing of sunburns /:
- Softening of the student’s hearts to hear about Christ
Some free time in Beale Street!
Tomorrow morning our team will leave for our 10 day mission trip to Memphis, Tennessee! Our team will be partnering with the ministry SOS (Service over Self). SOS exists to glorify God by proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ in undeserved neighborhoods through home repair and leadership development. During spring break, alongside other college students across the country, we will be partnering with inner-city homeowners making their homes warmer, safer and drier. Through relationship building and home repair, the goal is to participate in kingdom work and bring God glory.
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Gal. 5:13
Please join us in prayer for our trip:
- Safety in travel
- Humble attitude to serve like Christ
- Love each other well
- Seek opportunities to impact the people around us
- Strength to get the tasks done and efficiently
- Time of growth and spiritual realizations
- Our trip to be fully funded
Learn more about SOS: https://sosmemphis.org
-Safety: on the roof, in our travels, and with our health
-Pray that we keep the right perspective and a good attitude.
-That we and the homeowners are willing to have hard conversations.
-For our overall team cohesion
Front Row (L to R): Morgan McGill, Hallie Charbogian, Jen Cline, Taylor Eddy, John Gemmel, Phil Warman
Back Rom (L to R): Denae Cowell, Peter Carlson, James DiLeonardi, Deven Watson, Molly Fletchall, Eric Castiglia, Brad Ryer