GLC 2002 Chicago Trip

Glenwood Lutheran Church Youth
Servant Trip to Chicago
July 5-11, 2002

This is beautiful Lakeshore Drive, in the "nice" section of Chicago where about 5% of the populations lives...

...and this is where we stayed... the Catholic church/school/convent complex known as "BVM" (Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary) on North Avenue in the Hispanic section of Chicago.

The kids slept like angels in the van on the way down. They looked pretty angelic awake, too, but just try being around one of them when a PT Cruiser goes by.

"I'm an excellent driver." Chicago traffic was a nightmare but the adults stayed calm. They proved pretty handy in the kitchen, too. In addition to KP, we all enjoyed life without air conditioning, 20 people sleeping on each classroom floor and 50 people sharing a bathroom. No showers. That's what public parks are for!

Confidentiality and security concerns prevent us from posting pictures of the abused children or gangland ministry sites we served, but here are some park kids and psychiatric unit nursing home residents who deeply appreciated a listening ear or patient, kindly helpers.

We brought some of our favorite people with us, but like we promised in our covenant...

... we made some new friends, too, especially among our peers from a small town in Michigan.

The Youthworks folks drove like maniacs but loved showing us sites like the "Real World" mural or Buckingham Fountain.

At night we worshipped and prayed together, sometimes behind the van in the parking lot, and once at Montrose Beach in a windstorm. Will you look at those dirty feet? How are we ever going to get them clean again?

Of course, we had some fun. We swam in Lake Michigan on a day so windy the lifeguard's rowboat kept capsizing.

We visited Navy Pier. Nice horse. Is that your final choice?

We ate Waltons-style at the Rainforest Cafe, sharing 3 volcano sundaes.

We thrilled to the rollercoasters at Six Flags Great America (how's it HANGING, Vicki?) and visited the top of the Hancock Tower. Hey! Get back in here! Bob, you're supposed to be watching them!

One night, Pastor Bob showed us a haunting sight, the dilapidated Hilliard Homes public housing projects across the El tracks from Chinatown. So violent is the continuous crime and gang activity there, he explained, that even police won't venture in. As we pondered that, a train passed overhead and the kids waved energetically. "They won't wave back," Bob explained. "They're on their way to an even worse place, the Robert Taylor Homes, where they have to live."

But this mural offers hope. Its creation was organized by a Baptist church and it depicts the effects of sin on human relations, ending with a beautiful multi-skin-toned stained glass Christ and the promise from Galatians - all are one in Christ.

Our thanks to everyone who helped make this trip possible.