Before 2010-2011, I never really had any interest in missions work. But when I read “The Cross and the Switchblade” by David Wilkerson, my whole view on the matter changed. Inner-city ministry was what I wanted to do! And when I heard testimonies about Project 61, it seemed like the perfect match.
On the first day we split into groups and went out knocking on the doors of the housing project. My group ended up staying outside one of the apartments while a lady filled out the paperwork for her grandkids to come to camp. Now, unbeknownst to us it was time to go, and everyone else we were with was freaking out because they couldn’t find us. They thought something had happened to us, and they were about to start knocking on doors looking for us. So if you go to P61, no matter how many are in your “door-knocking” group, take an intern with you!
Camp started on Tuesday. I found out I was on Team Blue, the 9-11 year old boys. I really bonded with two of the boys, Ethan and Jaden. Jaden was awesome; he would sit by me a lot, and I’d encourage him during the sports. Ethan was just plain cool! He was nine, but he could have passed as one of the eleven-year-olds! We’d give each other backhand high-fives, and I’d encourage him, too.
In the evenings, we’d have our worship service, and would be taught by Myles Roberts, who has his own homeless ministry. He was an AMAZING preacher! His sermons were some of the best I’ve ever heard. P61 taught me not to judge a book by its cover! Lots of the people there looked different than me, but they were some of the nicest, God-loving people I have ever met. It was also amazing to meet some of the youth volunteers and find out some of them used to be campers at P61, and how far they’ve come just from attending camp!
P61 presented a challenge for me in that some of the boys in my group had seen and experienced some pretty horrible things in their young lives, things that I’ve never experienced, and that made it harder to relate to them at times. It really required me getting out of my comfort zone to reach out to them. If you don’t want to get out of your comfort zone, don’t go to P61. It’ll get you out of your comfort zone, and it’ll keep you there! It was totally life-changing for me, and I can’t wait to go back next year. I hope some of you that didn’t go this year will go next year! It’s worth getting out of your comfort zone. You’ll meet people from different cultures, different backgrounds, who have different tastes than you, different styles, and yet you all mix together perfectly for the main goal of glorifying God. It was the best week of my life! Thank you for all your prayers and support!