A month ago I traveled back to school from a very little state called Rhode Island. It was by God’s provisions that I got there and it was by his power and grace that I was able to do what I did. I wasn’t sure when I first got on the plane why He wanted me to go on this trip, but by the time I was returning a week later, I knew many reasons why. I went with a team of four other students and two group leaders. We worked alongside a wonderful church called Grace Harbor Community Church and they were some of the most wonderful people I have ever met in my life. It will be hard to tell you every amazing detail about the trip but here are some summaries and photos from each day.
Day 1: Sunday
Sunday was: encouraging. We basically spent the whole day hearing God’s Word and fellowshipping with our brothers and sisters in Christ from Grace Harbor. Literally, we did this from morning to night. Bible study, worship, sermon, lunch, Bible study, review. It was grand.
Day 2: Monday
Monday was: slushy. It rained/snowed! I thought it was wonderful but others didn’t think so much of it. Monday we got to pass out cards at the bus station letting people know about Grace Harbor Community Church. Right now, they don’t have a building of their own and because of that it’s likely that many people don’t even know about them. So we got to spread the word to a great mix of people. The bus station is a temporary stop for many, many people regardless of who they are or what they do. And it was so wonderful getting to talk to people that I normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to talk to. We also got to mingle among some of the college students in the area on Thayer Street and that was so great, too.
Day 3: Tuesday
Tuesday was: eventful. On Tuesday we got to help spread the word to some Johnson & Wales students about the Christian Fellowship group that they have on campus. Every Tuesday night there is worship and a Bible study on campus called Tuesday Night Truth. Our group was fortunate enough to lead this the Tuesday that we were there! Three of my team members led everyone in a good old game of Gorrila, Man, Gun. One of my team leaders, Landon, led an excellent Bible study about John 3:15. And I had the blessing of an opportunity to share my testimony! It was a long day, but a very good day.
Day 4: Wednesday
Wednesday was: painted. On Wednesday we got to help out a non-profit called CareNet by painting two rooms and two bathrooms. To say the least, whoever painted those rooms originally were certainly following a very short-lived trend of an era several decades ago. But no worries, because when we finished they all looked fresh and modern. Rachel, one of the managers I believe, told us all about CareNet and everything that they do for pregnant women. It is an absolutely wonderful organization and we were all so amazed by the joy in the women that worked there. It was something unique. Most certainly rooted in the love of Christ.
Day 5: Thursday
Thursday was: Boston. We had one free day during the week so Thursday we went to Boston. We walked and rode around a good portion of the city and learned a lot of random facts as we went. We ate at an excellent Italian restaurant where I got an extremely delicious plate of pesto tortellini. We also got some of those famous cannolis from Mike’s Pastry Shop. Prime. Other things that made up a portion of this day are a light snow, running after trolleys and trains, card games, Boston accents, churches and cemeteries, and packing 8 people in a 5-person taxi. Good stuff. Also, it was my sister Danielle’s birthday.
Day 6: Friday
Friday was: good byes. Our last full day in Providence was Friday and it was one that was both bitter and sweet. We woke up to a homemade breakfast of French toast with bread made from scratch by Hannah and Kim (two of the girls we stayed with, both culinary students). And it was so good. We also went to a Bible study with a group of students at the campus Starbucks. Friday was mostly wrapping things up and spending last moments with people from Grace Harbor. The picture above is a photo of me and a new friend, Cat. She’s one of those instant friends that you know will be a part of your life for a good while. And I’m very okay with that. In the short week that we were there she already blessed me so much with her joy, her honesty, and her willingness to share as well as listen. Niki, Hannah, Kim, Sherita, Alissa, Jake, Travis, Kevin…so many people that I was so incredibly blessed to meet. I could just feel the gladness in them to have fellow brothers and sisters in Christ there to fellowship, to encourage, and to be encouraged by. The relationships made, the many wonderful meals and coffee, and the opportunities to share the life of the gospel. I knew God wanted me to go to Providence, but I didn’t know why. Now, I know many reasons why.
Besides the fact that it is beautiful and full of unique and wonderful people, I have learned that Providence needs prayers. So continue to pray with me for Providence and the many other places around the world that are full of people who struggle and fight every day against things are so difficult to go through. I’ve realized that I’m blind to those things sometimes. And I absolutely must not be.
Thank you Lord for this opportunity and new friends!