Two weeks ago we traveled to Baltimore, Maryland with our student minister and another volunteer to scout out possibilities for a summer mission trip with our graduating seniors and college students.
For a week in July, we will be working with First Baptist Church Brooklyn, located in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Baltimore. The great fun of this trip has been the opportunity to reconnect and work with a couple with whom we went to church when we were newlyweds at First Baptist White House, TN.
Lou Paradiso, pastor of FBC Brooklyn, and his wife Sonya were good friends many years ago, and we had such a good time seeing them again!
FBC Brooklyn is experiencing an interesting time in the life of the church. Many of the members no longer live in the neighborhood around the church, primarily due to the economic level and crime rate in the area.
In the blocks immediately around the church building, you find houses like these. Many of these older homes are being remodeled, and are quite beautiful. Often they are valued at more than $200,000.
However, a couple of blocks away from the church, you find large blocks of housing like this:
While we didn’t see any signs indicating that this is government housing, the appearance of these apartments is drastically different from that of the homes immediately surrounding the church – and yet they are still in walking distance from the church building.
We plan to take on a wide-range of projects while we are in Baltimore – Back Yard Bible Clubs, leading in two worship services, meeting with the church’s ESL ministry, spending time with the teenagers in the church (many of whom come to church without any family members), and anything else that we see needs to be done.
We are so excited about this opportunity and all that God has in store for us. Please pray for us as we begin to divide our group into work teams, and as we have our planning sessions on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. Baltimore, here we come!