The Sunday after school let out, I left for a mission trip to Baltimore, Maryland. My group worked on the east side of downtown Baltimore where we helped bring life into an old church so that a new church plant could be there. The church was founded over a hundred years ago. It then burned down in 1906 and they rebuilt it to what it is now. We did a lot of painting and cleaning to liven it up.
We also worked on two 'houses' that were next to the church. These houses are 13 feet wide and about 25 feet deep. There are 3 floors- a basement, a main level, and then the second level. All of the houses in the inner city look exactly like this. They are all built up right beside one another and they have 13 ft by 10 ft back yards (if you could even call them yards). The below house are some of the nicest ones that were there.
While we were there, we also picked up trash and weeded down both streets. It was a really cool experience because we got to talk to the people in the neighborhood and tell them what we were doing. They really appreciated all of our work. Each day after everyone had finished their work, the local kids got home from school. We found some chalk and everyone got to hang out with them. They were some pretty cool kids!
But it wasn't all fun and games. The inner city is a dangerous place! There were signs every where that said:
There were these siren thing on top of street lights that measured the time, speed, etc when a shot is fired. While a few of my friends and I were working, a guy pulled up near us in his car and said "Hey baby, you wanna go for a ride?" which we responded to by declining. About five minutes after that, a guy came out of his houses, saw us, and shoved a bag up his shirt. He looked down and then walked down to the corner and crossed the street to where another guy was standing. The 1st guy passed the bag to the second guy and he shoved it into his pants. Did I see a drug deal? Yes. Multiple. But we weren't there to rat anyone out, we were just there to spread the light of Jesus and fix up some houses and the church.
We also took a train into DC and had some fun there for a day.