Team USA, Day 4: Going to School

Today we went to school. But it wasn’t your typical sit-in-a-classroom day at school. We got down and dirty cleaning and organizing. My team and I had the opportunity to sit down with the principal of a K-8 school in Pilsen and just get real for a minute. He was so friendly and made us laugh a lot, but he also told us about the corruption in our school system and the difficulties of being a principal today.

After much laughing and some deep conversations, we split into groups to get to work. One group went to dust, wash walls, and clean windows, another to help organize a classroom, and my group, to pick up garbage and glass outside around the school. While picking up garbage wasn’t the most awesome job in the world, it was still amazing knowing that we were making the environment around the school safer and more beautiful. We also had some great conversations while we worked.


After we finished up outside, we joined the rest of the group in the classroom to help organize. The teacher who was there instructing us was very overwhelmed by the amount of work to be done, and we knew it was a huge blessing to her that she had our help. She had just finished an extremely hard year, and told us about what students in the school have to deal with, from behavior disorders and absent parents to depression and gangs, even in elementary school! It was absolutely heartbreaking. At the end of the day, we were all physically and mentally tired, but there was a sense of accomplishment we all felt, knowing that we were helping the community even through organizing and busy work. We even had the opportunity to pray with the teacher, and we found out she was a Christian as well!

It was amazing to realize that we don’t need to teach the Bible or do “typical” ministry in order to minister to a community. Even the simple actions of a bunch of teens in the community can be used to further the kingdom of God!