This past weekend (June 20-22, 2014) True North and our collaborative partners, Jabez Ministries and GRCC Christian Fellowship returned to First Presbyterian Church in Benton Harbor MI for a weekend of service and learning. Six students traveled to Benton Harbor and two students came and worked for the day on Saturday.
Friday night, after dinner Julie Brien from First Pres gave our students an introduction to the culture of poverty.
Saturday we worked on painting the window trim and foundation of a house in the neighborhood. We also stained the porch railing, fence and shutters. This work was begun by other visiting groups. We added our part and other groups will come after us to complete the project.
We also had the opportunity to visit the community garden site we had worked on during our first visit to Benton Harbor. Last fall we removed bushes and small trees, as well as cleaned up trash and debris from the site.
Now we saw the garden which will help some people in Benton Harbor eat fresh vegetables this summer. This area of Benton Harbor is a food desert and community gardens help change that.
Part of what happens on service learning trips, besides service and learning is that our students have the opportunity to eat and relax together. Friendships develop on these weekends around the table.Sunday morning we had the opportunity to join First Presbyterian Church on the Lake Michigan beach for worship and a picnic.
On our way home, our students were talking about returning in the fall. Thank you for your support of True North Campus Ministry. You help make these experiences possible for our students.