This past week Freedom Hope took its first bike ride, sans training wheels. We hosted a group of students from Cleveland to carry out outreach and ministry on our behalf in the Albany Park community. Until this point, we’ve always been under an umbrella. Sheltered and guided by a sending church, or an internship. But this week was uniquely Freedom Hope. Our team, our business cards, our ministry.
We’ve spent so much time dreaming, planning and praying, but this time the rubber was ready to hit the road. Monday through Wednesday we were blessed with a group of 12 teens and 4 adults from Parkside Church, which is just outside Cleveland, Ohio. They assisted us with conducting a Community Needs Assessment, a prayer walk and an end-of-school-year bash in the park. They got our name and purpose out there in a way that would’ve taken us months to accomplish on our own.
It was so exciting to connect with the Parkside students and staff. Their tirelessness and high spirits made the seemingly difficult work truly a blast. Despite hot weather and uncooperative passerby, they made the most of everything. And their positive attitudes and eagerness to serve really breathed some new life into our core team.
The last day they were here, we focused all our efforts on serving this local park, and the kids in that neighborhood. From soccer to kickball, from blow-up bowling to a six-foot-tall beach ball, we had tons of local kids laughing and playing. Many of the kids did not speak English, but this was no barrier to them enjoying themselves. God’s provision was clearly seen in these few days as we put together activities and supplies for the team. Our blessings were manifold.
We would like to thank World Changers for sending us this amazing group. And a SPECIAL, HUGE thank you to the Parkside Team who have blessed and served us so well this week. We miss you already!!
Here are some photos from the week: