SMT Central – Update #2
Central team’s next stop after the Black Hills was St. Louis, MO to help at the Temple Houses, a section of the urban missions program where young adults live at the houses and join the community around them. With the help of Sara Johnson and everyone in the Temple House program the Central team was able to learn what urban missions really is about. We were able to contribute to the community garden and lead children in activities for the drop in program at the Temple Corps. Sara Johnson also introduced us to other non-profit organizations, such as L’ARCHE and Perennial, that are doing great work in St. Louis. She explained that more progress can be made when resources and expertise are joined. May God continue to bless the St. Louis urban missions program, and may they continue to do great things.
From St. Louis our team made it back to Chicago to be joined with another SMT team, CAST, and fly out to Eleuthera, Bahamas. Together, we led a VBS for the week. Everyone we met was so genuinely humble and filled with joy that our teams felt instantly welcome and safe. Every day over 40 kids came to the corps for VBS, and every day brought new joys and new ways to see God’s work through the Corps. We enjoyed being with the kids every day, and at the end of the week, many of the children said that the whole week was their favorite part. An 8 year old boy, named Santino, lives right across from where the boys on the team were staying. He expressed that much of his summer is filled with boredom, but this is changed when the Salvation Army comes to put on VBS for a week. We were able to experience the culture of the Bahamas and try local fruits, such as mangos and pineapples. Our final night in Eleuthera the Corps Sergeant Majors and the corps members prepared a delicious meal of local Bahamian food as a thank you to the teams, which we all gratefully enjoyed together.