D.J, what exactly did you do in Detroit?
10 other college students and myself led over 100 youth groups from across the country in the framing of four homes for low-income families in Detroit. We partnered with Lutheran Disaster Response as well as Habitat for Humanity to complete this project in less than four days.
What was a highlight from this experience?
Although we spent about 10 hours a day working on this project, we did find time for fun! Highlights included forming new friendships with my teammates and the campus ministers, a Detroit Tigers baseball game, eating out at various Detroit restaurants, and exploring the city. One thing in particular that stood out was hearing Duke’s own Rev. Luke Powery preach during the opening night event at Ford Field (I made sure to cheer loud and proud for our National Championship team, drowning out the thousands of Duke haters after he referenced our victory in his sermon).
How has this experience helped your understanding of the church?
This experience provided me the opportunity to share in fellowship and service with a wide variety of people, from my teammates and the high school students to the people of the city of Detroit. I am an avid runner, so would wake up early every morning to get some miles in. On my runs through the city, I began to grasp the difficulties faced by the people there, as I would run over sidewalks full of weeds, stride by abandoned buildings, and see homeless people trying to keep dry under store facades. Looking back, I realized that through the little the ELCA did at the gathering, we made a tremendous impact on the lives of people who have suffered greatly and who have so little. “God’s work, our hands,” an ELCA slogan, truly represents the work done not only by the ELCA Build group, but also by each of the 30,000 plus Lutherans in Detroit for that one week in July.
Thank you D.J.! We are so excited that you represented Duke Lutherans in this way!
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