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The Interchurch Center


Our last full day in NYC (yes, I'm still talking about New York, get over it) we spent at what we call 475. That's because that's the address. Not because we're hip and cool (even though we are). All of us were fairly exhausted by that point, but we listened to devotions given to all GBGM staff in the morning then headed up to do some debriefing of our stories. We actually drew lots of pictures, pictures of us in a safe place as children, pictures of how we viewed ourselves as teenagers, and then we wrote stories of struggle from this last year, and tried to find some happiness in them. It was a great exercise which I think we all really benefitted from. I learned so much more about my fellow classmates that morning than I think I had through all of training. When you have to draw such intimate and personal things, we are bound to share more than we probably would if we were telling the story. It reminded me that I should think in stories, in pictures and in heartfelt words more often.

We all got our lunch from the cafeteria downstairs (oh so ridiculously expensive) and headed upstairs to "brown bag lunch with the US-2s!" where people in the building can come and meet us. Steve (an exec that we know well) was up there when we got there, and then left, and then we were joined by none other than the General Secretary of GBGM which was quite the surprise. He's a busy man and is rarely in NYC, but he came up and spoke with us and asked us all where we were from and where we were. I already knew he was from my conference, but he went on and on about how he was from my conference. It kind of cracked me up.

In any case, we only had one other visitor, another exec that we know and had been with us most of the week, but we had a really good time talking over lunch about what the future might hold for us. It seemed to be a completely different conversation than we had all had on Saturday night, but still one of slight apprehension yet excitement. I have no doubt that my class of US-2s will be doing amazing things in the future. In the afternoon we did LOTS of paperwork, heard from even more people about what we can do next, and then we met a guy who is helping to connect young adults in service.

One of the strangest things that we did that afternoon was go with him to meet some Episcopalian missionaries who are living in a church on the edge of Harlem. It was an awesome experience to meet up with some other young adult missionaries, even though we showed up on their doorstep unannounced. They were gracious enough to let us see where they all live and talk with us for awhile. It might have been a bit strange, but we made a connection that day that I think we all needed to make. There are more of us doing things like this than we could ever bargain for.

After that, we split up, 5 of us headed off to Yankee Stadium, 2 went off to see a play and another one went off on her own. After it all though, we came back together, went out into the city one last time before we all had to leave and bonded even more. It was that night I knew that these people, these 7 people that I hardly know, will be my friends through and through. We are all passionate about the same things, and even though we have spent such little time together, I am already anticipating the next time that I get to be with them. There is something powerful about that connection I have with them that I can't even begin to describe. I know I have said it before, but I am blessed to be part of such an amazing group of people. It is a shame that we are spread throughout the country, but we still keep up with each other as much as possible.

To illustrate how awesome they are, Sarah, who is placed in Ukiah, CA is on the FRONT Page of the GBGM website. Way to be Sarah! You're an instant celebrity! (they change the pictures out sometimes, but the article is about drug and alcohol ministries in the church)

(Pictures are of Mary and I at GBGM, Tiffany's opinion of paperwork, and me, Mary, Josh, Sarah & Bre at the Yankees Game)
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