Thursday, January 17, 2013

UEI2013; 1.17.13 part 2
Wow. This is our last night staying in the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. We're ready to head home tomorrow, but we do so having to say "good bye" to new-found friends. We have grown fond of the students of CTA and the faculty and staff we count as friends.

Today was another day packed with unique experiences. As we have for the past six days, we worked in our classrooms throughout the morning. And, as has been true for the previous six days, we learned new things from these great kids with whom we worked. We trust that we helped them in some measure along their life journey.

 Our aiding work had a different sense to it today as we contemplated this as our last time with these students. After six days in these classrooms, we have become engaged with and attached to these kids. As several interim students stated throughout the days, "The kids are the reason we can get up in the morning, in spite of being extremely tired!"

























The Milwaukee Rescue Mission Program

 In late morning, we met with three men who successfully completed the Mission’s Program. These men told us their life story, candidly telling us about their struggle with substance abuse and the loss of their families and homes. They shared how a decision to enter the mission and begin a journey of recovery changed their lives.

 Each of them spoke of the impact surrendering their lives to Christ had on their recovery and their subsequent full life. I often think that we use the word inspiring to describe such a story. I don’t think inspiring is the correct word, however. Perhaps a “new respect” more accurately describes a response to these stories.

These men have returned from the “depths” (as one described it) to live a life of gratitude and service to others. That doesn’t just inspire; that engenders respect.






Our Farewell Dinner

This evening we took out to supper Ms. Jackie Verhulst, Principal, and Ms. Bledsoe, Assistant Principal. We had a pleasant meal together on our last night together in Milwaukee. We all want to give a huge shout-out to Ms. Verhulst and Ms. Bledsoe. They opened their school, their hearts, and, in the case of Ms. Verhulst, their home. Their hospitality, tireless working, and wonderful modeling of collaboration have been a special example to each of us.











Gathering in Second Grade

As has been our routine on many nights at the Mission, we gathered in the second grade classroom after supper for some hanging-out and quality internet access time (we could access wifi in the second grade classroom and an office space on the main floor). We thought we needed to capture a visual record of the space we converted to our lounge space after the school day was finished. Apart from the chairs that are fitted for second grade-sized students, the room worked quite well for us.

And, as has happened on several nights throughout our stay at the Mission, a cadre of competitive card casters became entangled in a rousing game of Up and Down the River's not often clear who wins, though there is often a fare amount of vigorous debate on that issue.

One issue on which there was consensus was our class "sass" list. We won't name names, but those in the know, know who held the top three spots!

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