Tuesday morning, after a nourishing breakfast, we gathered back in the auditorium and sang at the top of our lungs, while clapping and dancing (um…it could be that Pastor Jennifer was doing the dancing…) “Lord, you are good, and your mercy endureth forever!”
Then, we hopped on buses that took small groups to various sites to experience Detroit. This was not a service day. We were not weeding lawns or painting porches. We were simply learning what God’s people are up to in the city of Detroit. We felt very blessed to have been assigned The Alley Project as our site for the day. We met two young men who were born and raised in Southwest Detroit (They call it ‘the neighborhood.’) where crime is high and population is dense and people know each other’s families for generations and generations.
They have developed a project in their neighborhood where street artists may come create their pieces on garage doors and sides of people’s homes with the blessing of the homeowners. It’s called The Alley Project because it is quite literally an alley of garages and fences. This project was born of a longing for alternatives to gangs and the drug market. Wait until you hear from our kids the kids of relationships that have been forming in this place! One of the powerful things about The Alley right now is that is has recently become the Via de Los Muertos (the Way of the Dead) by boasting pieces of art in honor and memory of those who have died.
Then, it was our turn to try street art. They handed us cans of spray paint and gave us some lessons about how to keep the paint from running. Then, we spent some time creating on these huge erected walls in their yard!