Gathering Updates: Day 1
We left from Greensboro this morning (Sunday) all smiles and sunshine! And, thankfully, our day continued that way. Easy travel. Great kids with great attitudes. A funny flight attendant. No lost luggage. A simple shuttle ride to Wayne State University, where we’ll be staying in the dorms this week. The only hiccup was that we had no towels in our rooms. That meant an evening of drying our hands on the extra pillow cases we did have in our rooms, but the towels arrived before bedtime.
Here’s a clarification you may need: Because our youth group is made up of varying ethnicities, it is pretty special in the ELCA, which tends to be very Northern-European/Caucasian in its make up. So, ELCA youth groups like ours are invited to an event called MYLE (Multicultural Youth Leadership Event) for four days leading up to the ELCA National Youth Gathering. So, we are actually at two back-to-back events this week. MYLE is several hundred strong, while on Wednesday, nearly 30,000 people will arrive for the big event!
The opening worship was high energy and powerful, especially the preacher who told us that the great commandment to love God and our neighbors with everything we have: heart, mind, soul, and strength, means the church needs to start having some serious conversations about who we are in this world. After worship, the youth broke into small groups for discussion (while the adults had a boring, yet necessary, safety meeting). We ended the night with an AMAZING talent show, complete with dances from Africa and Puerto Rico! (See videos below!)
When we returned to our rooms after a very long day of travel and the opening of MYLE, the kids all agreed they were already having a great time! Then, Andrea closed out our day with a prayer of thanksgiving. I hope you never tire of hearing of our gratitude for your support of this important trip because we will never tire of saying it: Thank you, Emmanuel, for sending us to this part of God’s kingdom.
Above: Puerto Rico Video
Above: Swahili Christian congregation dancers from Minneapolis
Above: Ojibwe native song of praise to welcome us to Detroit