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Mission Trip Reflections by Lauren Palk and Brandon Petersen

My favorite part of the trip was serving the food to the guests at the Edible Hope kitchen. It was really rewarding seeing the people’s faces light up when we greeted in the morning. I started to recognize the people after the first day and most of them were really nice to us. Something that surprised me was the stories of the people we had group talks with. Also, it was a surprise that some of the volunteers were once guests and now have better situations and are still coming back to help in the kitchen. I found God in the guided meditation we did some of the nights before bed and it was a great way to reflect on my feelings throughout the day and it was very peaceful the last night. Something that will stick with me is how much of an impact you could have on someone if you just say hello and ask how they are doing. It has a lot of power to change someone’s day and I hope to incorporate this into my life in the future. Today (Wednesday) was a little different from the previous days because I caught a cold and I did not participate in the food serving during the morning. I was sad that I could not help. We went out into downtown Seattle today and we had a fun day going to the Space Needle and the Museum of Pop Culture. It was a great way to end this trip! I’m glad that I went on this trip because it took me out of my comfort zone and let me experience things that I haven’t done before. Lauren Palk Throughout this entire trip I believe I have experienced quite a lot, and as a result have learned a lot. Going into this particular trip I had a relatively closed-minded view of the homeless and the circumstances revolving around their inability to provide for themselves. However, after working for and with them over the past view days, my eyes have been opened. Many of these unfortunate souls were forced into homelessness due to factors out of their control. Through not only poorly accommodated mental disabilities or difficult family lives, but many other external factors. These circumstances that led to their housing situation, however, have in many cases humbled them and caused them to be kinder to the general public, and therefore closer to God. One visible instance of this occurred just yesterday, when one of the homeless asked me for a coin so he could remove some of the dried paint from a pallet he’d found on the ground. As I wasn’t too worried about my ten cents, I gave him the coin. Later in the day, after I’d completely forgotten about the coin, he sought me out and returned my ten cents. I was completely shocked, he surely needed the money more than I, yet he sought me out and returned it. As a result of this experience and this trip as a whole, I have learned to strive for a more openminded outlook on situations I know little about. I have learned a lot from the homeless, and I encourage everyone else to give them a chance, because the best lessons often come from the least likely places. Brandon Petersen

Emmanuel Youth with Bernadette (one of the main volunteers and head chef at Edible Hope)

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