Recently, I posed some questions to our youth and leaders who went on this trip. For the next few weeks, we will be sharing some of their reflections with you. Here’s the first.
Why did you go on the trip?
I decided to join the Justice Journey because I had taken an AP United States History class in the school year, and I wanted to learn more about how the Civil Rights Movement affected everyday citizens of the South. I also wanted to meet new people through the church, which proved to be very easy when we were all on the bus together. The service part of the trip interested me along with the social aspect because it gave me the opportunity to make a tangible change in somebody’s life.
What did you take away from this trip?
After returning to Chicago, I became more aware of people experiencing homelessness in all parts of the city. Thousands of pedestrians simply walk past these individuals on the street and do not acknowledge them. I learned from the Justice Journey that many who are homeless have stories to tell, and that we should not treat them as inferior citizens. I also began to think more about the segregation that is prevalent in Chicago and how that tradition of discrimination correlates and dates back to the Civil Rights Movement. Another influential idea that I gained from this trip is that even the smallest action can help a person in need. Whether it is picking fresh vegetables for poor mothers or serving food to residents in shelters, seemingly insignificant actions can make a vast difference in someone’s day. I also made many new friends who made the trip such a fun experience. Overall, I learned a variety of meaningful lessons from the Justice Journey, and I hope that I will be able to carry these ideas with me throughout and beyond my time with Fourth Church.