Happy Independence Weekend
As we celebrate our nation’s independence with backyard BBQs, firework shows, and a bonus three-day weekend, a group of students from Chapel Hill will be watching fireworks on the national mall in Washington D.C. Doesn’t that sound like the quintessential American experience? I can almost hear The Stars and the Stripes playing as I picture it! But these students aren’t in D.C. for a pilgrimage of democracy, walking from monument to monument. Throughout this year, this group has wrestled with faith related to urban issues. They are asking questions like: Does God love the rich more than the poor? Or is it the opposite? How can the powerful and powerless walk together as followers of Jesus? Where do we see Christ in our cities? What is the role of the Church in issues of race, poverty, and injustice? In going to D.C., our students will serve alongside groups answering these questions. We hope they come home with a maturing picture of what their role is as followers of Christ in our society. We hope for a lot of things for these students, but I wanted to give them a chance to share a bit of what they hope for as they arrive in D.C. Here are the thoughts of Eric Anderson and Lucy Camarata, two of our D.C. team members:
Lucy Camarata (18):
I am so excited and deeply honored to be a part of the DC Team. I have been looking forward to the trip for months now. I have a great fascination with American history and with the many cultures within the country and I am thrilled to be serving in the capitol of the nation I am honored to call ‘Home.’ I am mainly excited because I believe that God is raising up leaders in a generation that needs to see Christ exemplified. It’s my overall hope that our team will become a part of that leadership. I hope that we will be challenged to strengthen our bonds in Christ as we experience a new place and a new culture. I hope and believe that we, as a team, will be built up in knowledge and wisdom; strength and love, so that we could come home empowered; ready to make a change for the good in our own communities and wherever the Lord sends each of us in the future. I hope we will become better servants of God’s children, better friends with one another, and most of all, better servants of God.
Eric Anderson (17, turning 18 on the trip!):
This will be my third mission trip in six months, the other two being Mexico and ASU. Each trip has left me with different insights and areas of spiritual growth, yet I feel confident saying that DC will most radically change my perspectives. In Mexico I got to have a blast practicing my Spanish and building houses with my best friends. At ASU I spent a week with some incredible guys honing my apologetic and evangelistic abilities. But DC? DC will stretch me. I’ll have to work hard to keep in mind one of the essential elements of the trip: all that we’re bringing is ready hands and open ears. At Mexico, at ASU, and every evangelistic program I’ve been part of, the focus is always on delivering something to a people who need it, and that something is Jesus. But this is different, and less simple. We aren’t going just to do construction, or to preach the word. We’re going to learn. To heal. To take part in the fight against systemic injustice, and most of all just to serve how they ask us to. It’s true I’ll turn 18 the third day of the trip… But I’m MUCH more excited about the new Switchfoot album that gets released the day before we fly back!! I can’t wait to tell everyone how it goes, and I really can’t wait to get there!
We have stellar youth in our church. What a blessing to watch the Holy Spirit at work in their lives as they tackle difficult topics with humility and grace. I can’t wait to hear their stories! Thankfully, we don’t have to wait long. Follow the group on Instagram @Chapelhillindc and the hashtags #chpcindc and #chpc2dc or on the Go Teams blog at https://www.chapelhillpc.org/go-teams-blog/.
God bless America,
Director of Missions