Agape Service Week--July, 2017
Jul 19, 2017
Read Youth Minister April Waldrop's reflection on the Agape Service Week and the 6th - 9th graders who served local migrant families during this experience July 9-14:
This past week, I had the privilege of taking a group of Bellingham youth on the Agape Service Trip. We met Sunday evening and were together until Friday afternoon. We stayed the night each night in the downstairs of the parish hall, and spent our days serving the migrant community of Whatcom County. During the trip, we collected donations outside of grocery stores, worked on a farm, played with the kids that are alone all day in the camps while their parents work, put on a food bank, ate simple meals, and did several simulation activities to try and better put ourselves in the shoes of those we were serving. While collecting donations, members of our community were extremely generous, often buying an extra bag of groceries (or two) just for us. One man in particular stood out though, Walter. Walter walked by and we told him we were collecting donations. It was obvious that Walter was living on the streets, and he told us he didn’t have much to contribute. He dug through his pockets and found $2.60. It was all of the money he had to his name, and he gave it to us to support the migrant food bank.
While at the migrant camps, the kids were so excited to see us. As soon as we pulled in, they would come running out with smiles on their faces and start jumping up and down asking for piggy back rides and wanting us to push them on the swings. We also experienced generosity at the camps, with families often inviting us into their one-room concrete homes and offering us water, or handing their young babies to us and trusting us to take care of them for a few hours. We learned a lot about why migrant workers are paid so little and how they get stuck in the cycle of poverty through poor education. Our Bellingham youth came up with several ideas of how we as a community can better support our migrant workers and work to make a difference in their lives. Please start by praying for positive change, and keep an eye out for upcoming efforts that you can get involved in! Our youth also came out of the trip with a better understanding of what it means to put the needs of others before their own and really stepped up during the week when it came to doing chores around Sacred Heart or taking care of one another during the long, strenuous days. Overall, it was a challenging week that left us with hearts full of God’s love and motivation to make a difference. I thank you all for supporting our Bellingham youth and look forward to sharing their future successes with all of you.