Mission to Chicago, Illinois - 2016

Dear supporters of the CCS mission trip to Chicago,

     Thank you from the Champion Christian School Mission Team! We would like to thank everyone who helped us take our trip to downtown Chicago. It was an amazing and eye opening experience for all of us. While there we did physical work in a mission for the homeless, ministered to the children at the mission, met with the pastor of a church plant, attended a mega church, and did landscaping work at a Christian school. We worked very hard but were also able to snatch a few moments of free time to explore the city a bit. The various perspectives of the mission team members have been combined in the following letter to give you a glimpse into the trip and the many different activities in which we participated.

     After a long bus trip from Donegal, PA to Chicago, Illinois we pulled into downtown Chicago. We all enjoyed seeing the bustling downtown with all the shops, but we were mostly impressed and amazed at the many giant skyscrapers. We discovered that Chicago is a great city full of many people, diverse and exciting.

     On Saturday, the day we arrived in Chicago, we went to the Sears Tower; however, the name had changed from Sears to Willis. This tower used to be the highest building in the world! We went up to the skyview deck, a floor near the top of the tower. We were up there at sunset, and the view was amazing! The city was so beautiful from the height. Everything was small because we were so high up. There was even a glass portion that jutted out from the building, and when you stood on it you felt like you were on top of Chicago.

     On Sunday, we went to a mega church just outside of Chicago. Willow Creek was huge. We came during their Celebration of Hope which was their time to emphasize missions. We liked seeing the booths they had set up for different countries. The food was pretty good, and we liked seeing the art work.

     We visited a Korean pastor, Pastor Jeuk, in his chuch. He led a little worship service for us, and we even sang some of the songs in Korean. Pastor Jeuk shared his testimony with us, and it was a very touching story. We then met his wife and kids. They were very nice even though the kids spoke no English. Then we all prayed for the pastor and his family and the their church would continue to grow. He was a blessing to us, and he seemed to be very happy living in Chicago and following God's plan for his life.

     It was an amazing experience working at Pacific Garden Mission. We heard a lot of great testimonies from people there. Although these people were in an otherwise hopeless situation, I could see the hope of Christ in their eyes. All the workers had smiles on their faces. We did a variety of things there, and it was just incredible to see how God was working there. It really is a place for fellowship and support even in the toughest situations. I could tell that many people were being saved there. Montrice was our guide at Pacific Garden Mission. He was super nice and helpful. He came along with us on Monday afternoon to the Navy pier, a type of beach walk on Lake Michigan. He was inspiring because he had so many things to do every day but he still had a great attitude.

     The first day at the Pacific Garden Mission some of us volunteered to work in the kitchen. We helped them make many sandwiches to serve the homeless people for their lunch. It was fun to help each other in the kitchen. We each had our own job to do and then we made an assembly line to make it fast to serve them. When the time had come we started serving and they seemed happy and blessed to have us helping them. We felt great that we had the opportunity to help the homeless who do not have a place to stay and good food to eat like we do. God gave us this opportunity to work with them to share God's love and give them happiness.

     Working at the shelter with the children was a life changing experience for us. When it started some of us were a bit unsure and worried about what to expect, but it worked out well. The children were so happy to have somebody to play with, and the mothers were extremely grateful. We started out with a lot of little activities like paper folding and face painting. Then we told them Bible stories, and we spent a lot of time just playing with them. It wasn't much but we were glad we were able to provide a little bit of relief in those people's lives.

     During a couple hours break, we went to Chinatown. This shopping area in Chicago was small. However, there were many small stores that were full of unique trinkets. One store was full of dried fish and sea creatures. We took a group picture in front of a Chinese lion sculpture. There were also sculptures of the Chinese animals that go with birth years. One of the stores was so full of stuff that only one person could be in an aisle at a time. They had chopsticks, tea pots and tea cups, and lots of different items. Another store had the traditional silk Chinese outfits with slippers. It was a great experience, and we were glad to be able to go. 

     On our last morning we went to Hinsdale Christian Academy to work. When we arrived at the school, we weren't quite sure what to expect. After we looked around at the school we found it was similar to ours. While we were there we mulched and weeded and then had chapel with them. Even though we were covered in dirt they were extremely friendly, and their chapel was similar to ours. It was a great experience!

     In conclusion, many of our alumni tell us that the annual mission trip is one of the most memorable things about their item at Champion Christian School. To step out of our comfort zones, to see God at work outside or our own communities, to be part of a team working for a higher purpose is a privilege.

     Thank you for making all this possible! We so appreciate your investment in our team. May God bless you!

2016 Champion Christian High School Mission Team

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