The Saturday after Thanksgiving I headed south (from St. Louis) to Biloxi, Mississippi for a Mission trip. Back Bay is a UCC affiliated Mission that seeks to strengthen neighborhoods, seek justice, and transform lives. For ninety years Back Bay has served the people on the gulf coast helping to lift them from poverty and give them a sense of dignity and accomplishment.
This was a great trip and an enlightening experience. The drive (particularly home) was long and the work was tiring but I would do it again. I would go again because it was good to feel like what I was doing made a difference in someone else’s life. It was helpful and at times sad to see the situations people with few resources must navigate. It was good to know that there are people who have the backs of those who don’t have family or friends who can help them when life goes wrong.
So why go all the way to Biloxi Mississippi for a Mission trip? Aren’t there places closer where we can serve others? Here are few more reasons why I went and why I urge you do the same.
· To unplug from our normal routines so that we can spend a week immersed in a project and immersed in a culture different from our own.
· To meet new friends who share a passion for helping others. Our crew consisted of 9 people representing 7 churches, 4 denominations, 8 cities and 3 states.
· To get a better understanding of some of the reasons why people are poor and some of the difficulties (systemic – family – etc.) that keep them in poverty.
· To experience a well-run UCC affiliated non-profit that makes a real difference in the lives of people who need not just a hand-out but a hand up.
Thank You for this opportunity!!
‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ (Matthew 25:45)
A few pictures and some questions to ponder:
Why do you “strap” the roof, windows, and doors on a house in Mississippi?
Why are there no more UCC churches in Biloxi?
Why is there no house connected to this porch?
Who are the second and third largest employers in Biloxi and why is that significant?
Why are some houses on stilts and some not?
Why is the laminate not continuous between the room and this closet?
What are these and why were two young homeless women so happy to get them?
What is this guy doing in the city and why haven’t the neighbors complained about the noise?
Want to see/know more? Want the answers to these questions?
Presentation and Conversation January 14th – 10:30 a.m.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! Pastor Marty