Final Workcamp Reflection
Sherborn Travel Blog› entry 7 of 7 › view all entries
May 7, 2006
Workcamp Boston: Reflection
I have always considered Boston my backyard. But while on Workcamp, I saw a totally different Boston. Throughout the week, it didn’t feel like we were 30 minutes from home. It felt like we were worlds away, in unknown territory. I realized that my purpose in Boston is not just to go to concerts, musicals, museums, restaurants, or Red Sox games. My purpose in Boston is far greater; there is so much opportunity, yet most individuals living in the Boston area do not take full advantage of such opportunity. We see what’s on the outside: Fenway Park, Quincy Market, and Fire & Ice. Yet we do not let ourselves go deeper into the heart of this city, seeing the many people that make up Boston. It was not until this Workcamp that I truly delved deeper into what makes up the city I consider my backyard, which is sad, in a sense. This mission trip gave me a sense of purpose in my life, and allowed me to learn more about myself through doing God’s work.
Perhaps my most significant moment happed at St. Paul’s Cathedral while we were serving lunch to the homeless. I met a woman who had just lost her job and had just started coming to soup kitchens. She appeared to be normal and fairly sophisticated, yet she was homeless. I had so much admiration for her because it must’ve been hard for her to face the fact that she was homeless.
The whole week was filled with so many meaningful events. Like at Ellis Memorial, when I was reading to two 3 year-old girls on my lap. I saw God in their energetic faces. At the men’s rehabilitation house, I saw the men’s faces light up instantly when they saw the bright new colors in their home. At Roxbury Youth Works, many people walking by stopped and admired our landscaping, saying how much better it looked. It was things like these that made me feel like I have a purpose in life, and that I was sent to do God’s work.
I think my only negative part of this Workcamp was walking down the streets of Dorchester on our way to the Greater Love Tabernacle. Everyone driving by was staring at us, many even glaring at us. Teenage girls on their porches pointed and laughed at the sight of 35 white people walking down the streets of Dorchester. I felt so helpless. I have never felt so vulnerable, so out of place in my life. If a group of 35 black people were to walk down the streets of Sherborn, it would probably generate just as much attention. But you never realize the vulnerability of the situation until you experience it with your own eyes, and though it was a hard situation for me, I learned a lot.
I learned on this Workcamp that you don’t have to travel far to find someone in need and a rewarding experience. Many people associate traveling halfway across the globe as having more people in need and having a more rewarding experience. Though it is quite a unique experience to go somewhere exotic (Jamaica), there is plenty of help needed right in our own backyard. It sometimes make me wonder why people go extremely far away to do mission work when there is mission work needed to be done right next to them. I found out that serving my own city can be the most rewarding, for I feet a strong connection with them. This Workcamp had such a strong impact on me, for it let me find my purpose, spiritually and socially. Everything about this Workcamp seemed to go perfectly: the people, weather, mission work, and a long lasting impact that will never go away.