The Words of the Sprague Family
Living For The Greater Good Through New Jersey Service Project
Lillian Sprague and Shawna Pace
May 15, 2006
On Saturday May 6th our two teams, Tolik and Rogerís, gathered at Eastside Park in Paterson, NJ. We went there with no expectations not knowing who would be there or what our assignment was. In the beginning STF and the NJ WAIT team, which were the other volunteers at the project, seemed to stick to our own groups. However, as soon as the service project started we were all divided into different teams and began to meet new people from the NJ community.
A few ice-breakers helped lighten the atmosphere and soon afterwards we were off riding in a trolley to our first destination. That day the city of Paterson was holding different clean up projects all over the busy city; we were working along side 800 other people spread across the city. Even though we didnít know so much about the other groups we felt like we were part of something greater because we were all working to serve this community.
Our first clean up was only 15 min long so we quickly arrived back at our original park and from there the real work started. The teams were assigned to different jobs, some gardening, others painting, and cleaning. Through this we were really able to connect and got to know the blessed children of the area. I felt like the second gen. could really receive our love and also respond; I can say that we all felt a sense of being older brothers and sisters.
After finishing our assignments we had one big Matanage game joining together STF, NJ WAIT team, and the other kids from the nearby community. All races came together to join in this game and afterwards enjoyed a BBQ prepared by fire fighters of Paterson. Entertainment came next started by a choir from a local church and then ours truly, the wait team. The WAIT team, Washington Aids International Teens, is a group of young teenagers volunteering their talents to promote abstinence through dance and music. They put on an amazing act with break dancing, a fan dance and a powerful message of abstinence. The other participants and volunteers from other organizations were inspired by our young people and their passion to stand up for something rarely seen in todayís society, morals.
After the conclusion of the program we could all see that the other second generation could feel that STF was not just there to help clean these parks but to really share our love and passion with our youngers. We were sad to leave each other but this helped make a foundation for the Sunday visit the next day.
Sunday service the next morning was another great experience within itself. This week it was held by the youth, where the older high school and college age BCís organize everything, the songs, Hoon-Dok-Hae, and a sermon. We were all amazed by their initiative attitudes and effort they had taken to put together this heartfelt service. Both our teams could offer the New Song of Inspiration in Korean and a heartfelt testimony by Caroline Hampton to the congregation. Rev. Kim was inspired as well and invited us and other older kids all for pizza in the parsonage.
Even though we have all visited other churches, this one was so unique because we could all open our hearts to one another, place our differences aside and just be family. We hope to visit and take care of New Jersey again in the future. MANSEI!!!
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