Hey guys! I know it’s been a few days and I’m going to tell you why in a minute. But first I just wanted to let my readers know that there will be some religious stuff in this post. I’m not trying to provoke anyone or make you think that my religion is better than yours. I just had an amazing last three days and I wanted to share all of the experiences I had with you guys. I’m sorry if any of you don’t care for my post, but it’s happening. I would also like to take this time to mention that this is the first but not the only post I will write having to do with my religion. There will probably be more in the future and if any of this offends any of you or you disagree with it, I’m sorry in advance. However, my religion and my faith plays a huge role in my life. It’s a part of me. If you don’t agree with it then fine. But don’t hate on this post if you don’t agree. Just ignore it for now. Thanks lovelies!!
Okay. So when I was in middle school I was asked if I would be interested in going to a church with other kids my age to be apart of this program called the Mini Y.E.S. It’s this three day service project type of thing where you spend the night at a church and you do all these different service projects throughout the three days you are there. I went two of the three years I was in middle school and I LOVED it. My brother is now in middle school and he gets to experience this. He went last year but this year I got to go with him and be sort of a counsellor. So Wednesday afternoon, my brother and I headed to the church where we would be staying. Well, it was actually an old Catholic school. So we got there and we met everyone and the lady in charge I knew from when I did the Mini Y.E.S and she’s super nice and an awesome youth leader! (Shoutout to you Carin!!) There were two other counsellors there, two girls, Rebekah and Rachel, and we all got pretty close while we were there.
Firstly, we went into the chapel of the church that was next to the school to have a small reading and discussion. It was there that we read in the bible, Matthew 25:40 – “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine you did for me.” It really got us all thinking. We also talked about what service is and came up with the idea that service is helping people and caring for people, whether they repay us in some way or not. So the very first day we held a car wash for the church board members while they were in a meeting. But the cool thing was that they didn’t know we were doing it. Let me just tell you doing something kind for someone when they aren’t expecting it is probably one of the best feelings in the world. Okay, so after the car wash we got some down time and had dinner (pizza, yum). Later that night we discussed respecting life and being pro-life since the next morning we were heading to Abortion Alternatives in Saginaw. For all of you who may not know, us Catholics are pro-life all the way. And if you don’t know what that means, it means we think that everyone deserves a chance at life, no matter what. Okay, so you should also know that abortion, right now, is legal in all 50 states. And we are all working to change that. So our group talked about abortion and what it is and why we have things like AAI. It was surprising to some of the kids to find out what abortion is and why it happens. We talked about how if some of the most important people in our history were never born (Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Mother Theresa) how our nation would be different. Some of the things we came up with really opened our eyes. But let’s be real here, for every like, 3 people, there should have been a 4th person who had gotten aborted. Can you imagine if you never existed? What would be different? What would we lose? A daughter, a son, a mom, a dad, a sister, a brother, a friend? Crazy right? After our session the middle schoolers went to bed, us high schoolers and our leader took the room with the couches to sleep. However we were up for a while. You all should probably know that the lights were REALLY bright. And there was an emergency hallway light on and it was shining through the window right into our faces. It made it pretty much impossible to sleep. So the first idea was to take this screen thing and block the window. Needless to say it didn’t work. So we found this brick paper and stuck it in the windows. Which led to us decorating the room at like 12:30 in the morning. We went through like, all the cupboards in the room to find random stuff that we used. We had a Christmas section, a 4th of July section, an Easter section, and a Halloween section of the room. It was lots of fun even though it was one in the morning. We stayed up for like, another hour just talking. That’s when I told Carin, Rachel, and Rebekah about my blog so if you guys are reading this, HIIIIII!!!!!!
We woke up the next morning, we were supposed to be up at 7:30 for breakfast at 8, but the three girls woke up at like ten to eight. Oops. We ate breakfast (eggs and sausage). And then got ready to leave. We made it to AAI and got a tour of the place. We got to see all of the clothes that have been collected for babies and for needy families. Did you know that one of the reasons women decide to go with abortion is because they don’t have money to give the child a good life? We also got to actually help at Abortion Alternatives. We helped organize clothes and stuff. It was really cool, there is so much there for babies it’s insane. We ended that with a video about this girl who was considering abortion and was actually in the clinic and changed her mind when the ladies who pray out front said they could help her and that she didn’t have to go through with it. This girl ended up having her baby and now she couldn’t imagine life without him. After AAI, we went back to the church and there we got to help with the food pantry offered as our third project. Some of us worked in the garden: weeding, planting, and picking. Some of us were inside. There was also a rummage sale being held at the school/church so a few of us helped with that as well. Once we were done we got some free time before we ate dinner. Showers came after dinner and we watched The Parent Trap during that. Following showers we had a bonfire and did some meditation prayer. Personally I loved that part. I don’t know if it was the fact that it calmed me down or the fact that it made me feel closer to God than I have in, like, forever. We made s’mores around the bonfire too for our snack before heading back inside for the night. The middle schoolers went to bed, after Carin told them a nice (silly) bedtime story. The older ones were chilling in the room talking about what we would be doing the next day. Carin mentioned that we would be having Mass at the migrant camp we were visiting with Father José and that the day before was his birthday. We then had the brilliant idea of going through the rummage sale to find him a present. We ended up with a fish candle holder, a fish bowl, a fish candle, and some sunglasses. (Can you tell he loves fish?:)) We finally went to bed a bit earlier than the night before.
On our third day we woke up around 7:10. Technically we were supposed to be up at 7, but the alarm Carin set didn’t go off. (Whoops) We got up and got ready for the day. We ate some cereal for breakfast before heading out to Bay City to the migrant camp. Let me just tell you that I think this was the best part of our week. In case you didn’t know, a migrant camp is a place where people from places down south like Texas and Mexico come and they work in the fields to earn money for their families. They work from like 7 in the morning to about 4 P.M on a short day and on a long day they can go until sometimes 4 in the morning. It’s crazy. Kids 13 years and older are out there working in the fields just so they can have a better life. Just so they can collect money to go to college and have a future that they wouldn’t be able to have if they stayed home. Anyways, we had Mass and even though it was all in Spanish, it was really cool. Being Hispanic, I do hear Spanish spoken at my grandpa’s house and when we visit my family down in Texas, so I can translate a little. Even though we might not have understood all of what was being said, it was still a beautiful service. After Mass we kids got surprised because the migrant workers actually served us. They made cakes for us and had chips and pop. We all went to the camp thinking we were going to be seving them, but nope. We also got told more of what happens at the camps and we got to talk to the people there. It was only one family because the others were working. There was three guys, two older women, and one younger woman. There were also two very young kids, a boy and a girl, who were too little to work or go to school. You know, you don’t realize the things you take for granted until you do something like this. Like, these people all lived together in one house. They didn’t have air conditioning. (And that sucks when it’s as hot as it is here in Michigan during the summer) The only things they had with them was what fit in the car when they came. It’s crazy. (Oh and by the way Father José loved his gift. It probably made his entire day) Once we left the camp, we headed to the Bay City State Park for lunch and the middle schoolers went on the playground. We had a discussion there about the migrant camp and out it made us feel to be served and not to serve. I think we all agreed that it was definitely weird. I myself am one of those people who when I see someone doing something, I want to help and I feel wrong if I’m just standing around. The migrant camp honestly was my favorite part. It was very eye opening and I think it made me reconsider all of the little things I take for granted. When we got back to the church, Carin said that we could make cards for all the people we helped these last few days. I made one for the lady who works at Abortion Alternatives. We ate dinner (tacos and nachos, delicious) and then once again showered. My brother and I actually went home this night so we decided just to shower at our house. While Carin and the middle schoolers went to the chapel to do some scripture activities, the three older girls took the giant van to go to the store and get popcorn for our movie night. Originally we were going to have dance party and blast some Christian rock music, but we were honestly exhausted and so decided just to watch a movie instead. We popped like 18 bags of popcorn in the microwave and then got everything ready for the kids. We watched the movie Courageous, which if you haven’t seen I strongly suggest you do because it’s an incredible movie. Unfortunately, my mom picked my brother and I up like ten minutes in so we had to leave and didn’t get to finish the show. Oh well. The rest of the group was going to the concert on the Ojibway Island the next day, but my brother was competing in a triathlon so we didn’t get to go. It looked like a lot of fun though. Christian rock artist Jeremy Camp performed. (I love his music we listen to it all the time in the car) And that was the end of our week.
Like I said, the migrant camp was my favorite part. But these three days, I feel like I got closer to God on a whole different level. I learned and experienced so much I can’t talk about it all. I cannot put into words how amazing this was. It built up my faith even more and makes me super excited for the next event I am going to. I got close to Rachel and Rebekah and if you two are reading this I’m sorry I didn’t get the chance to see you guys at the concert, but maybe we can all hang out sometime! To Carin, thanks for offering me the opportunity to be a part of this and I’m glad the kids didn’t drive you too insane. To everyone who we helped and served, I hope we made you smile. Like I said before, there really is no better feeling than the one you get after helping people. It’s amazing. To end this post, I’m going to leave you with a Biblical quote: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, sothat in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 4:10-11