A half-dozen missionaries from Zion UCC in Burlington left early on a July Sunday morning for Detroit, MI. They spent the week there working with Rippling Hope Ministries, building fences, clearing brush, painting, and presenting the loving face of Christ to a people short on hope.
Jerica and Will are two of the neighbors who had been helped in a previous year; now they want to give something back. Though they don’t have much, they came to the mission on Sunday evening, greeted the tired group and fed them on their arrival. The food was delicious, but their joy and hospitality filled the spirits of the tired travelers and boosted their enthusiasm about the week of work ahead.
A typical comment from the missionaries: “Sometimes it felt like applying a Band-Aid to a gaping wound; there is so much need there. But in the end, we felt as if we received far more than we gave.”
One of the places they worked was a tiny three bedroom home, buy ritalin turkey where they painted a living room and hallway. The homeowner, “Chris” has six children. Five of them she has adopted; the baby is her foster child. The children amazed our missionaries with how extremely well behaved and happy they were. In spite of the load Chris has assumed, she did not offer a complaint about her life, but praised her neighbors and family for their help. She was very gracious to the painters, insisting on serving them refreshments.
The missionaries from Zion agreed that the best part of the trip was talking with people in the neighborhoods where they worked and in seeing how Rippling Hope builds relationships between neighbors, the different neighborhoods, Rippling Hope, and ultimately, the volunteers.
This year’s missionaries have already decided they want to go back next summer. Rippling Hope has room for up to 30 missionaries at a time. If you would like to go with us in 2016, contact Zion UCC firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reserve a spot for you.