Cross Cultural Report
When - 24th June - 11th July
Where - Philadelphia, U.S.A
Who - Edenderry CE serving with Grace and Peace Community Church
The purpose of the trip was to facilitate a summer camp for two weeks which was based in Grace and Peace Community Church, Philadelphia. The summer camp enables children of primary age the opportunity to enter into a culture saturated in grace, which ultimately serves to demonstrate the love of Jesus to the children and community of south Philadelphia. For many of the kids, this love and environment is a distant reality to the worlds and homes that they live in.
Philadelphia has a large part of my heart, especially the community of believers at Grace and Peace and this trip was my fifth consecutive summer that I have had the privilege to help serve at the summer camp. Upon reflection of my cross-cultural experience in Philadelphia, one thing that I was continually reminded of was the fact that God in his mercy is able to work in hearts and lives no matter how well prepared or versed our classes and answers were. I realised that all too often I place my hope and confidence in how well prepared I am for a situation or how skilled I am for a task rather than rooting my assurance upon God. Practically I was reminded to ask God for his help and guidance in each circumstance and was constantly aware that this was a spiritual task that I was involved in. Throughout the summer camp, I was also able to analysis the influence which culture has upon an individual reacting to the gospel. It was a challenge to articulate the good news of Jesus to children who did not respect authority or acknowledge God as their father as their experience of fatherhood was extremely negative. Overall, the trip was a rich and beneficial experience for all those in involved and the countdown has began for summer camp 2017.