During the last week of June, the youth had the pleasure of attending Grace's mission trip to LA.
On Monday morning, the first day of the trip, we were led on a tour of downtown LA, in order to give us some context of where we would be serving for the week.
Both Monday and Tuesday, the group had the opportunity of serving at Union Rescue Mission (URM). On Monday, males and females from Skid Row separated into their respective "day rooms" and the men played games such as ping-pong while the women painted nails in order to strike up conversation in what was called "relational ministry". On Tuesday, we directly served the people at URM lunch, in more of service-directed ministry.
Every evening, we had worship with live music and short devotional videos. Tuesday, we had a special worship time on the roof of URM. It was wonderful to be able to send up-lifting music down to the streets of Skid Row, and was one of many highlights of the trip.
On Wednesday, the group was able to renovate a school garden, which was much needed since teachers are only allowed 1 hour outside of classes to tend the garden each week.
Below is a photo of Grace's group along with leaders and a church group from Tuscon, in front of the finished product of a clean garden.
On Wednesday, we helped around Hope Gardens, an area for women in need and their children. Some tended to the grounds or helped serve food, while others help watch and take care of the children.
Friday, we were allowed a 'free day', where we got to go the the Getty Museum and the Beach, in order to relax and recuperate after a physically and mentally trying week.
Saturday morning, everyone was sad to leave the friends we had made over the course of the week, but all were glad to return to our real showers and beds. Hopefully the service and love seen in LA can continue to be spread here in Ridgecrest!