Tuesday, March 01, 2011
This past week was our annual visit from Global Youth Network, a justice education and action organization in Canada. And continuing with a popular trend, they sent me a team with 9 ladies and no dudes (7 were vegetarians unlike last year :). This was my first time hosting a Global team on my own and without knowing any of the group that was coming to boot. This was a great team. It was a tiring week for all of us but so rewarding.
Games - Global teams love to play games. It's just part of their DNA. I think it comes from being stuck in airports, train stations and other uncomfortable places for undetermined amounts of time. So we played a lot...at my house, with my kids, in our host church, with the youth group and our airport kids group. Leave Global alone for a few minutes and games will ensue.
Day out in the city - We usually send teams out for a little day scavenger hunt in downtown Modesto. The girls split in two groups and went about downtown talking to folks, making new friends among the homeless and learning about our community from them. One group took some new homeless friends on the tour through our historic McHenry mansion. They gave these guys the gift of dignity. It seemed like all had a great day being with the people on the street.
Partners and friends - I got to show off some of the great (and quiet) things happening in our city, taking them to meet friends at The Vine House, City Ministry Network, Advancing Vibrant Communities, Jeff in the Airport neighborhood and Denise who feeds (and loves!) people at Tower Park every Saturday and Sunday.
Day out in San Francisco - We usually take visiting teams for a little tourist day in the city. Josh went along this time to give me a little male companionship and we all had a great time seeing some history, some tourist spots, the golden gate bridge, the ocean and awesome Indian food.
Surprise (again!)- Every year with these teams, I sit in awe at the beauty of simple friendship and the magic that happens when we just take a little time to stop, notice people, listen to them and care about them. It changes our whole perspective. It changed me once again and I want to live that change more every day.
P.S. the late night run to the emergency room after an impromptu wrestling match was quite a hoot as well. Let's just say Global Youth Network has a funny way of deciding who's going to be the leader :)