Guest Blogger Shelby: “I had a changing experience at GO 44 and I loved it!”
Today we welcome our first guest blooger Shelby! Thanks for sharing your story!
Shelby is a confirmation student who participated in our GO 44 event on January 25. GO 44 is a missional retreat that takes teens into the inner city of Omaha. They spend two nights at the Abide House while working with various ministries around the city. This retreat always is one of the highlights of the Confirmation experience. Why is it called GO 44? Because they “Go” share our faith in tangible ways for 44 hours!
GO44 was like nothing I have ever experienced before. On Friday night we started off eating dinner, but it was a poverty dinner. Five of the 31 people that were there got to eat before everyone else on stage and had a steak with green beans and potatoes. Me being one of those people. We even got dessert!
As for the rest of the people some of them got a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with Cheetos. Some got cold rice, and the rest got nothing. Adam was trying to show us that this is a representation of the world today. We are very fortunate to live like we do. He shared with us a bunch of facts about the the world and how much money people us each day. It’s unbelievable how many children die each day from starving. It shocked us all and made me realize I should be thankful for what I have and not to be selfish and want more.
We left early in the morning to leave for Abide in North Omaha. A girl named Jenn from Abide Ministries gave us a tour of the place and the story. The founder, Mr. Dotzler, had a really good life with his family in a nice house. One day he had left all that because he felt that God was calling on him to sell everything and move to North Omaha. His entire family moved down there. He had two daughters that always played with two neighbor girls that were ages 8 and 9. One day he was notified that they had been murdered. Mr. Dotzler knew then that he had to make a change. They bought the building that we stayed in, and at the time when they bought it it had been a complete disaster. Now they have changed the community that even the police have recognized it. Jenn continued our tour and showed us this. Over the last 20 years this is where all the murders have happened in Omaha.
The top blue point is where we were, The Abide Ministries. The bottom blue point is where Abide’s church, Bridge, is. Once all 31 of us kids saw this the room just drew silent. I knew there were a lot of violence and murders around here, but I didn’t now it was that bad. We continued on and showed us where the girls and boys we going to be sleeping. This basketball court was right by our rooms and it used to be a boiler room. As she went on she told us that behind the back wall when they were cleaning up and renovating the pace the Dotzlers found two dead bodies. That creeped everyone out! That showed that this place at one point wasn’t in a very safe community.
After the tour we walked around the neighborhood picking up trash. It was sad to see all the ‘No Trespassing’ and ‘Will Call Police if Trespass’ signs in the houses. Later that day we got to meet the people that live there and hangout with them. Then with some teamwork we took down the christmas decorations in the house. Once we were done with that we made signs to cheer on the Bridge Church basketball team.
The boys on the team had no idea we were coming to their game to cheer them on. It was a big deal because their parents can’t cheer them on. Some of their parents are in jail or have alcohol problems. When the kids walked into the gym before their game, smiles spread across their faces. It made them so happy! They ended up winning their game! After the game we got to meet the kids. They were so thankful for us and the signs we made for them. It was really cool to see them so happy, because my parents and grandparents and occasionally some other people come to my sports games or other events. To see how much that meant to them melted my heart.
At the end of the day we started winding down and boys and girls split up to do our devotions. The girls literally talked for over 2 hours. We just kept asking questions and praying! It was such a growing experience for all of us in our faith.
On Sunday morning we went to Bridge Church. People gave us hugs and shook our hands as we walked in to the building. During worship nobody is embarrassed to be loud! Everybody was dancing, jumping, singing loud and proud! It’s a lot different than our church. I liked it though! You could really feel Gods presence in the room and in everybody.
Thank you for letting me share my story. I had a changing experience at Go 44 and I loved it.
For more about GO 44 and Confirmation at King of Kings you can contact Tammy S. at 402.504.9046 or by email.