More Than “Just a Class”

I came to Chicago/ Moody in the Fall of 2014, wide eyed, innocent and terrified of being in “the big city”.  (Spending most of your childhood homeschooled and in the middle of a corn field can do that to you)  Nothing about my transition into life as a Moody student was easy (I may tell that whole story eventually…), but one of my many road blocks was having my PCM application form go missing (or just not get to the PCM office) not once, not twice, but three times.  Of course, the PCM office cannot assign you a PCM if they don’t have a form for you.

~Quick interjection for my non-Moody peeps.  One of the best parts of the Moody curriculum is that every single undergraduate student is assigned to a weekly ministry around the city of Chicago.  This is referred to as “Practical Christian Ministry”, (we Moodies call it “PCM”), and this allows us as future ministry leaders to put what we are learning in the classroom into practice in over 100 ministries around the city of Chicago.  We have students doing PCMs in churches, after-school programs, Awana clubs, nursing homes, prisons, and so many more. To be honest, PCM is one of the parts of Moody that sold me instantly. ~

Anyway, not being assigned to a PCM, I got to meet with Robert Rivera (a head of the PCM office)to get placed.  I knew I wanted to work with kids in some capacity and, with this in mind, he placed me with an Awana group based out of the New Life Community Church in the Portage Park neighbourhood.  From the moment I started, I new that serving alongside my wonderful co-leaders and working with my TNT kids was more that “just a PCM”.  I found a family there.  I loved working with them so much, that I kept Awana as my PCM for my Sophomore and 1st semester Junior year.  Again, for the non-Moodies, you typically get assigned to a new PCM every school year, but I pleaded with the PCM office to let me keep it and they willingly obliged.  I had planned on continuing my role as a Red Team leader even though I could not keep Awana as my official PCM this semester because of an oddly scheduled block class.  But then, I took on a second part-time job and working 31 hours a week, taking 18 credit hours, starting a new PCM, and being a mentor for Big Bro- Big Sis AND being an Awana leader was not a possibility anymore.  Something had to go, and after much prayer and consideration that had to be Awana.  Wednesday was my last night and along with being completely crushed at leaving my Chicago family, I realized this was my first “last” as an Undergraduate student.  Next week is my last Founder’s week since next spring I will be student teaching and then graduating.  I only have one semester on-campus after this.  Combine these two sad realizations, it’s safe to say Wednesday was emotionally exhausting.  Saying goodbye to what has become my Chicago family was so, so hard.  I am going to miss my co-leaders for Red Team, Luke, Barb, and Mary.  Not to mention my Red Team kids and TNT leaders Ruth and Al.  It has been a privilege and an honour to serve alongside them these last three years.  I will absolutely go back to visit from time to time, but I won’t be making the trip out to Portage Park every week anymore.

Here are some pictures from over the years (I haven’t taken many to be honest):

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Throw back to Freshman year when we won the “Chi-Town” awana olympics with my co leaders Luke and Barb.

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Last night with Miss. E.  I’ve seen this girl go from crazy-gymnast-all- over-the-place, 4th grader to a (still crazy) but so strong in her faith 6th grader.  As I’ve said about a hundred times: stay wierd E, and please, please, please never grow up on me.

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Red team 2016-17.  I love and pray for these monkeys always, even if I don’t get to see them every week.

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A “just got out of class, hoped on the train, and now I’m here” picture (hence the nessecary travel mug of coffee), but I’m so thankful that God gave me these two beauties.  Barb’s heart and passion for telling children about the Lord is so humbling and Mary is the most level headed and mature junior leader we could have asked for!

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