Tuesday, November 15, 2011

#EmberPhilly11 Wrap Up

Had a great time in Philadelphia this past weekend with a team of college students that Ember hosted. Here's some of the details that might interest you.

:: Schedule
Fri night - Chinatown, including cultural awareness, dinner and hearing from LT about the background of this context.
Sat 1 - Salvation Army in West Philly, urban garden, organizing a toy room to get ready for donations, various other cleaning projects
Sat 2 - Philadelphia Access Center, South Philly, various cleaning and organizing projects
Sat eve - free time while some of us went to the ER with a student who hit his head pretty hard and then started throwing up. Obviously, this was not plan A. Cat scan was clean, he was fine but with a slight concussion.
Sun - church at CCCNC where LT spoke on Luke chapter 2.
Lodging at Chaomunix Mansion Youth Hostel.

:: Observations
+ Such a privilege to work with this team. TayEst is replicating students that live the Gospel in both word and deed. This team doesn't have to be convinced about community impact, most of them are involved in two community projects every week. They already get it. It's beautiful.
+ This team already spends a lot of time in direct interaction with recipients of community impact programs. Instead, this weekend, they got to see a lot of the other side of the nonprofit world. Cleaning, organizing, and other kinds of activities that need to get done but isn't necessarily seen by program participants. This perspective wasn't intentional in our planning but worked out great anyway.
+ We could have spent hours pushing around concepts like poverty, power, dependency, sustainability, etc. with this team [see what I mean.] Instead, we bagged most of that because of the ER trip. Insight from Dea: maybe God said it was good enough for today.
+ It's difficult to host teams. Both of these organizations did it really well.
+ Loved the model of the church engagement initiative at PAC, which starts first and foremost with a community needs assessment. So many times, we are guilty of forcing our talents and skills on hosts/partners/communities. Especially when it comes to overseas short term teams.

+ Our guides were, as usual, fantastic, and a first experience for Amy as a guide.
+ I brought my family on this one - they love this kind of stuff and it's my job as a dad to expose my kids to this kind of thing. We also brought one of Kt's friends along for the first time. Mir had a great weekend.
+ Ben joined us too as part of the youth missions coaching we are doing together. Very fun to have him with us for all of it.
+ Here's a few items for continual improvement that we may have to systematize: prepping our guides better, involving the actual team's leaders more as the experience goes on, having a room to gather in. We also need a experience closeout checklist, I think.


  1. Man, I loved this.
    Hang out over Christmas?

  2. thanks emily! it was a lot of fun. what a great team.

    would love to see you in december!

  3. Nice wrap-up. Thanks for having me. I had a fabulous time!!

  4. we couldn't have done it without you amy!