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Chicago Mission Trip 2023 - Entry 3

By Emily Shubilla

Today, we started our work. We have been invited to help Mr. Bill Hill with Woodlawn’s Community Garden. (For a tour, see the video!) It is located near the University of Chicago, Hyde Park Academy, and a senior citizen center. This garden is impressively large and around each corner Mr. Hill had stories to tell and things to experience. There is a special path for the wheelchair bound senior citizens and a place for them to enjoy their tea, an outdoor classroom, chess tables, art installations by local artists and so much more. The garden provides fresh produce to many parts of Chicago, education to the students, and truly a place to find peace and embrace the creation made by God. This place is an excellent reminder to all of us that when people hear “Chicago,” their immediate reaction shouldn’t be negative.

When I shared with others that we were travelling here, some reactions were: “Don’t get shot!,” “Oh, you’re going to Shyraq?,” “Watch out for gangs,” to name a few. I am anticipating sharing with others the positive experiences, the beauty, the camaraderie, and the sense of community that we are experiencing here. God calls us to love our neighbors and there is a lot of love here.

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