In case I failed to mention it adequately before, I spent this last week in Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota on a mission trip with my church. Our two main goals were 1) basically to be an advertisement for the church plant that started in Moorhead in August as well as the church plant that started a few years back in Fargo and 2) to try to create relationships with the people we meet here. The idea, particularly for the summer teams that live here for a couple of months, is to ‘live strategically’ aka be intentional with the conversations you have with people, go out of your way to be nice and have conversations with people-get to know them, see if they go to a church in town, etc. I’m probably doing a horrible job explaining it, but whatever. Mostly, we just got to know people in town, specifically at MSUM (Minnesota State University at Moorhead), and hung up flyers for the church around town.
As far as my week goes:
I woke up at 5 o’clock Monday morning to meet up with everyone at the church. We had a flight to catch out of Nashville at 8 with a two-hour layover in Denver. Easily the most eventful part of our the trip was freaking out when the car right behind us started swerving, spun around, hit the embankment, and flipped. It was surreal to watch. Luckily the ambulance was really quick. We tried to look up an article about the wreck later to find out if the guy was ok, and as far as we could tell, he was alive. So…that’s good.
Anyway, back to the trip. I traveled through 4 states in 24 hours, which is not nearly as impressive as the fact that I traveled through 3 cities and 2 states in under 10 minutes. The church we’re staying at (called Temple Baptist [which is not the church we’re here to serve which is Sojourn] which is also really nice [did you manage to understand that with all the ‘which is’s lol]) is in Fargo, North Dakota. The area we’re mainly working in is Moorhead, Minnesota. And the closest Wal-Mart where we did our week’s grocery shopping is in Dilworth, Minnesota. Fargo and Moorhead are basically the same city divided by a river which creates the dividing line for the two states. If you don’t get it, look at a map.
Most mornings we go to MSUM. We have a table set up to offer hot chocolate in the Student Union (equivalent to DUC) and also set up a Raffle to win an ipod shuffle. It’s mostly just a way to get word out to the students that the church exists, and it’s a method to get a chance to talk to them. A lot of people ignored us but we did get a chance to meet a lot of people and have good conversations. It was kinda crasy today seeing God work. MSUM’s spring break is next week so the Student Union was basically empty the majority of the morning and most people had left or were about to leave. But there were a few people still interested in our table. Near the end of our time there, a group of girls came up and sign up for the raffle. We were nearly done and about to clean up, but we kept talking to them and they seemed really eager about the church, and I’m pretty sure we’ll see them there this Sunday :)
We also have lunch at MSUM everyday to try to get to know the students. Another girl on the trip with me, Cara, found a group of three girls to sit with in the cafeteria. We ended up talking about The Hunger Games, differences between MSUM and Western, etc. They’re pretty awesome. One of them added me on Facebook. We got to hang out with them a little later at the University Bookstore and the next day at lunch as well.
Most afternoons we tape up cards to houses in the surrounding neighborhoods with info on the church and its upcoming events. Did I mention the temperature here? How about the snow? Take a look at these:
Overall the trip has been awesome, and part of that, at least for me, are always the little hilarious moments. For example, the table we have at MSUM: on the first day, we noticed we were basically between the meeting room for something called ‘The Gay Agenda’ and a hall that led to some kind of info session for Planned Parenthood. We had a little laugh out of that. And of course there’s this picture taken on our second day. I forget who wrote it, but I got a laugh out of it.
I’d love to video chat with you guys soon, it’d be much easier to tell some of these stories face to [screen to ] face. If I’ve forgotten anything worth mentioning, I’ll talk about it next week.
But I do sorta have an ‘awesome’ of the week which, if you don’t count all the awesome ways God’s currently working in these cities, would have to be Scheels. It’s an outdoor sports shop and it’s HUGE. There’s even a Ferris Wheel inside:
Anyway, I’m tired and I’m gonna go to bed now.
Hey, Anna Beth. You know those decorated pig statues in Bath? Apparently there’s an equivalent here in Fargo with Bison statues. I didn’t get any pictures of the statues themselves, but I did snap a shot of a framed picture at Dunn Bros Coffee Shop that shows a lot of them: