Sunday, Day 7: Church Service, Hike and Helping at the Mission

DSC08973Sunday is another day of relaxation, beginning with a service in the morning at the Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church. All of us were amazed at how welcoming the community was with respect to each other and to us. In the afternoon, one group of students enjoyed a hike at Shepard State Park near Biloxi with Mike and Mr. Drossel. Vallee and Mrs. Hanrahan took a second group to the Seashore Mission in Biloxi to help Judy, the owner and pastor, serve high tea to the homeless of the area at her day shelter. In honor of Mr. Drossel’s birthday we enjoyed grilled hamburgers and hotdogs for dinner. It was a great day.

~ Mrs. Hanrahan and Mr. Drossel

Church Service

On Sunday morning after having a delicious breakfast our group went to the United Methodist Church. Every Sunday, people who live in Turkey Creek come to the church to take part in the service. The service started with people who come to each other and they were talking and hugging each other. I think it was a great beginning that brought such a friendly atmosphere. When I introduced myself to other people because I was new to this community, I felt so good about it and I felt like I knew these people for years.

DSC08987Then, the service started and special people were singing on the stage and I was actually singing with them. Then a woman was explaining her life story and she told how she appreciated that God exists in her life. After that, everybody prayed together. Everybody was praying as a big family. The people were just sharing their thoughts and I really enjoyed it because it was so cool to listen to people’s stories. Also, in the end of the service, a really nice woman gave me a postcard that said: “Happy Birthday” on it and it was really great to get it and it was awesome to know that people actually remembered about you.

I really was into this service because I have already participated in such an event in Russia and it was really interesting to hear how people were praying in English. Another interesting thing that I noticed was that people were raising their hands while they were praying and people do the same action in Russia too. The purpose of raising hands is to be closer to God; I really liked that experience that I had because it showed how religion is the same everywhere and I would love to visit a service again.

~ Liliya M.

Hike at Shepard State Park, Gautier

DSC09027On Sunday, “OMG” it’s Drossel’s 63rd Birthday! So Mike planned to hike at the National Park to celebrate. After driving 1 hour to the park, we felt so excited and started hiking with Mike, Drossel, Johnny, Ingrid and Bolin. During the hike, we found a lot of new plants and insects that we never saw before. During the hike, Bolin was so funny because when I threw up the pinecones, he was like “Wow! It came down from the tree!” I started laughing and playing tricks on him. We really had fun. After we hiked about 30 minutes, we started going back because we were going to have a barbecue at our house. I felt so tired and 7 people in the car means that I do not have enough space for a seat. I really felt uncomfortable! After we arrived at the house, Drossel set up the grill and we had cheeseburgers and hot dogs at dinnertime. Of course, we had the birthday cake together too! Happy Birthday, Mr. Drossel! I really had fun with you guys!

~ Yinru (Jason) S.

Seashore Mission, Biloxi

DSC_1290Going to the Seashore Mission was such an inspiring experience. Seashore Mission is a day shelter where homeless people are welcome to have a free, hot meal. Breakfast and a meal between lunch and dinner is served, called “High Tea”. They also have showers, toiletries, clothes, shoes, etc. available for the people. We went in a group of four to help the manager of Seashore Mission to cook and serve. We have gone twice. The first time, we met the manager, Judy. Judy is a very amazing person with a huge heart. Not only does she feed these people and provide for them, but also she cares and loves them as if they were her second family. We helped to prepare some food and served it to the people. The first time we were there, we served spaghetti, carrots, garlic bread, spinach rolls and doughnuts. Everyone we served was very sweet and thankful for us helping out. We went again and served. Being here doing anything at all feels good. It’s a great feeling to know you can help someone in need, like Judy does for a living.

~ Chloe M.