Our Mission Year in Chicago has officially begun! After a week long training on the West side, we are now settled in our home in West Englewood on the Southside of Chicago with six single housemates. The training had long hours, but we heard from a number of excellent Mission Year staff (many of whom are alumni and choose to live in under-resourced neighborhoods long term).
Moving in was a bit of a process, but after substantial cleaning and the eye of our housemate with an interior design degree, our place now looks and feels like home. We are fortunate to have a city director (“Pastah J”) who fought for our team to have a house big enough so the two of us have our own bathroom and living space in the basement in addition to our room. Despite the rest of our housemates not even having a room of their own, they have been very understanding and generous with allowing us space. So far we have been getting along with our new housemates, and the eight of us already on our way to becoming a little family, and we’re looking forward to growing closer as the year progresses.
As of yet, we have only met a couple of our neighbors. Our block is fairly safe and has a number of friendly people in it. We hope that each of us solidifies a couple of friendships while the weather is still warm and “porch sitting” is still a non-hypothermia-inducing option. We’re starting to find our place in the neighborhood and feel connected to it. We invite you to pray that God would open the doors for us to connect with our neighbors in meaningful ways, especially while the weather doesn’t cause everyone to take refuge inside.
If you have not heard, Kristin and I are both working for an after school program called By the Hand. The program includes a Bible study, tutoring, and general mentoring. If you’d like to learn more about it, you can visit their website here. Kristin is working in Englewood, and Adam will be further south in Altgeld Gardens. We have completed our first weeks at these sites, but have yet to really get into our rhythm of working. Pray that we would be able to connect with kids and make meaningful contributions. You can also pray for patience for us as we navigate public transit all year.
As you keep us in your prayers this month, we also ask that you consider donating to support our year here in Englewood. We also want to express deep gratitude for those who have already contributed or made pledges; we could not be here without the support of people like you. To donate, you can click the button below, or write a check to PO Box 121158, Chicago, IL 60612-7024 addressed to Mission Year. Please put our fund ID #16-9022 in the memo box to make sure it gets to us.
Pray for Kristin as she discerns why God has brought her here to Chicago. She has been struggling with homesickness and finding peace in the chaotic city. You can also pray that we find time, money, and plenty of free events so that we can go on a date or two (if you’d like to donate money or gift cards to the Kristin and Adam date fund, (not tax deductible) please send them to 5531 S Honore St, Chicago IL, 60636).
Every day we are taking in new experiences around us and seeking to find understanding from them. We thank you all for joining us on our journey.