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Mattoon First United Methodist Church

Serving In Memphis, TN
June 8, 2019
Community: Downtown, East Memphis
Partner: Calvary Rescue Mission, Second Baptist Church, St. Vincent DePaul Food Mission
Staff: Kelsi Elkins, Douglas Buchanan

Arrived in the Home of the Blues!

by Kelsi Elkins | June 8, 2019 9:46 PM

After a leisurely drive from Illinois, making stops along the way at places like the  Huddle House to try some fried pickles, we have finally made it to Memphis! We are excited to see what God has planned for us this week. Prayers for our group and the work we will do in the communities of Memphis are greatly appreciated!

Arrived in the Home of the Blues!

Gathered to Worship

by Kelsi Elkins | June 9, 2019 4:37 PM

This morning we had worship with our church partner for the week, Second Baptist Church. During class time with the other youth, we were given good places to visit while in Memphis. We learned that Memphians really do love their city! For lunch we went to Memphis Pizza Cafe and had some delicious thin crust pizza.

Gathered to Worship

Praying over Memphis

by Kelsi Elkins | June 9, 2019 4:44 PM

After lunch today, we decided to head downtown to walk over the bridge to Mud Island. Once on the island, we walked along a replica of the entire Mississippi River which led us to this awesome 10 feet high Memphis sign! After having some fun, we took some time to pray over our group, the community we will be working in this week, and the city of Memphis as a whole. We are excited to start serving tomorrow!
Praying over Memphis

The Heights

by Kelsi Elkins | June 10, 2019 10:36 PM

All day today, our team worked in the Heights community beautifying and up-keeping repurposed vacant lots. In the Heights area alone there are over 1,200 vacant homes or lots that the community is trying to renovate and use for something that will benefit the neighborhood. Our team started off at a vacant lot that had recently been turned into an open area with a gravel walking path. We pulled some weeds and picked up some sticks along the path, in the open areas, and in the flower beds while also weed eating the perimeters. 

The Heights

Earning our Green Thumbs

by Kelsi Elkins | June 10, 2019 10:44 PM

Our second project of the day was at a huge vacant lot that we mowed and weeded. With the help of some of the neighborhood high schoolers, we also pulled up some grass and tilled up the dirt to create a little flower garden that will hopefully be the start to a future growing garden planted full of tomatoes and cucumbers and corn!
Earning our Green Thumbs

Loving on Dirt

by Kelsi Elkins | June 10, 2019 10:52 PM

We ended our day working in one of the lots that was transformed into a community garden. We met a wonderful woman named Mrs. Judy who shared with us her love for the Heights community and her passion of working in the garden. She taught us how to properly plant and water flowers. By the end of today we definitely feel like true gardeners!
Loving on Dirt

St. Vincent

by Kelsi Elkins | June 11, 2019 4:32 PM

This morning, we went to St. Vincent De Paul Food Mission where we prepped and served food to about 200 homeless members in the Memphis area. We got to serve soup, zucchini, bologna, peanut butter & jelly, chips, donuts, coffee, lemonade, and more! We will be heading back again tomorrow morning and are excited to see who we will meet tomorrow!

St. Vincent

Final Heights day

by Kelsi Elkins | June 11, 2019 4:48 PM

After spending all day yesterday in the Heights community, our team headed back to finish up our afternoon with Jared and the Heights CDC. We mainly spent our time straightening up the new community studio area and prepping some of the area for preparations for a future wood working shop. We are so thankful to have met Jared. Seeing his heart for the community inspired us to take the same community minded mentality back to Mattoon!
Final Heights day

Hard at work

by Kelsi Elkins | June 11, 2019 4:50 PM

Isaiah solo painting the Heights community studio bathroom.
Hard at work

Serving at Calvary

by Kelsi Elkins | June 13, 2019 10:17 PM

Our team spent another morning at the Food Mission serving sack lunches to the incoming visitors. Then after going grocery shopping, we prepared and served lasagna for the homeless men at Calvary Rescue Mission.

Serving at Calvary

Nothing But the Blood of Jesus

by Kelsi Elkins | June 13, 2019 10:27 PM

After serving dinner, we had a time of worship in chapel with all the men. As we sang hymns, the voices that filled the room created a powerful atmosphere for the dwelling of the presence of God.
Nothing But the Blood of Jesus

Fun & Games

by Kelsi Elkins | June 13, 2019 10:32 PM

Following chapel, our team was able to have some dessert and just chat and have fun with the guys. We had games of cards and checkers and chess going all throughout the room. Our team was definitely blessed by the stories and conversations had with these men.
Fun & Games

History at the Lorraine Motel

by Kelsi Elkins | June 13, 2019 10:42 PM

To kick off our rec day in Memphis, we started our morning at the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel which is the spot of MLK's assassination. We just soaked in lots of information as we made our way through civil rights history. 
History at the Lorraine Motel

Memphis skyline at Bass Pro Pyramid

by Kelsi Elkins | June 13, 2019 10:46 PM

The noteworthy pyramid found in Memphis now turned into a Bass Pro Shops offered us views of Memphis as we stepped out onto the look out deck.
Memphis skyline at Bass Pro Pyramid

Walking with my feet 10 feet off of Beale

by Kelsi Elkins | June 13, 2019 10:48 PM

Our team ended our rec day and trip to Memphis on the famous Beale Street. We browsed through gift shops and listened to melodies of all genres of music as they flooded the street with sound and excitement.
Walking with my feet 10 feet off of Beale

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