My Next Trip! Poland?

I am very busy with it being my last year of school, and I sadly do not have time to on trips as frequently as I’d like. However, I’d like to update everyone on what I hope to be my next big trip!

First, this is not confirmed yet at all. I applied to go on a service trip to Poland for next summer. It is a fairly long process to get accepted, but I feel confident that I will make it!

I was interested in going to Poland because it is not a country that would have came to mind if someone said “service trip.” By looking at pictures, Poland looks like a cute and quiet country that seems to have everything under control. It made me very curious to find out in what ways Poland experiences poverty. I cannot wait to learn more and hopefully get to serve in Poland!

I will make further updates if I get accepted!

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When Homelessness Hits Home

This past weekend I was able to take some time away from school and volunteer! I went with a group of friends into the city and teamed up to do a mobile mission. We loaded up a van with clothes, toiletry supplies, and food, then drove to different spots around the city where the homeless typically congregate.

As this was not my first experience with the homeless population, nothing came as a real shock to me. However, each time I am always reminded of my appreciation for these people. I or someone I know could easily be in the same situation… being stuck homeless on the streets. We are so quick to judge these people when it could so easily be any one of us.

I met two young men, probably college age, who were so grateful to receive any sort of help we could give them. I don’t know why these boys were on the streets, but it really hits home when they are so young and going through this on their own.

I also got to meet one college-aged girl. We were serving hot coffee, and she brought along an empty gallon jug and filled the whole thing up with coffee. She then asked if we had any pads or tampons… she took the whole box of tampons. Could this girl be any more relatable? Like girl, I feel you. 

A lot of the time this is not what homelessness is thought to be, but this is the reality. People just like you and me were caught in a bad situation now their lives are flipped upside down.

Hero Mentality

I have heard again and again… don’t have a hero mentality.

But I can’t help it!

To give some context, when preparing to go on a service trip the leader always reminds us not to have a hero mentality. Meaning, don’t start serving thinking that what you do is going to have this HUGE impact and everything will be better once you leave.

Typically when serving, you are partnering with an organization who has been serving a community for a long time. When you come in for a week to serve, that is just one week of the years the organization has been there. If a whole organization has not solved all the problems by now, do you really think you can?

Therefore, it important to remember that when we serve, we are only one tiny piece of the puzzle. Of course our service has an impact, but we must remain a humble servant.

Which brings us to the spiritual side of things… remember that is all God working through us. It is through God that these communities step out of poverty or the man on the side of the road is given a bed for the night.

Only God has the power to save the world. Although it can be hard to take a step back and humble ourselves. It is good remind ourselves, THROUGH CHIST we can do all things.

 

 

Our Responsibility to the Planet

I believe that the earth is God’s creation and we are to respect and care for it. This planet, the whole universe for that matter, is a beautiful masterpiece created by our God in Heaven.

Although the Bible declares time and time again that the world will one day be in ruin, we should not be speeding up the process. The world will be in ruin because we are sinners. We as humans take and take until there is nothing left. I don’t think it is God intention for us to live this way.

Before making a change, it is first helpful for you to know what effect you are having on the planet. I recommend taking the carbon footprint test on https://www.footprintnetwork.org/

I have been trying to live a very eco-friendly life recently, but yet if everyone was living like me, it would require us to have 1.4 earths! That’s crazy!

I encourage everyone to take the test, and find out ways that you could personally help our planet! And remember that this is God’s creation we are destroying. Just imagine how beautiful the earth must have been back when God said, “it is good.”

Introducing Me

As I gain more followers, I want to let everyone a little about the person that has been writing what they are reading!

  • My name is Jessica, I prefer Jess.
  • I am a vegetarian, and I a striving vegan.
  • I am a follower of Christ. I do my best to shape my life around my faith.
  • I am a senior social work major. I can’t wait to get done with school and actually start doing things!
  • I want to travel the world (well duh, everyone does) (But literally… every country would be ideal).
  • Mission’s trips are my favorite thing. My passion in life is helping people and the planet!
  • I love to read, but don’t always have time or energy.
  • I need sleep or it’s just not good…
  • However, I’m trying to become a morning person.
  • I come off as shy, but I’m not at all. I guess I’m just picky about who I share my thoughts with.

Thanks to everyone who has been reading my blog! I appreciate you all!

 

Having a Mission’s Mindset – San Francisco

This summer, I went on vacation with my boyfriend’s family to San Francisco, CA! It was such a good week exploring the pier, seeing the painted ladies, and eating yummy food. However, I have one regret…

Starting on our very first day, we were walking to our tour, and all along the streets were homeless people. My heart immediately went out to them, and I looked up at everyone around me to see if any of them had stopped to help. I saw that no one even acknowledged the homeless people. I had to tell myself,

Oh yeah, you aren’t on a mission’s trip, things are different.

I tried to figure out if I had anyway to help these people, but I didn’t have any money or food to give them, and I didn’t have the time to stop and talk to them either.

I realize now that I was not prepared mentally or physically for this. Vacation had just begun, and I was ready to have a good time. To be honest, my thoughts were selfish… helping others was no where on mind. But so what if I’m on vacation, I’m not going to pretend that there is not poverty all around me. From now on, I want to always have a “mission’s mindset.” At anytime or anywhere, I want to be ready to help. Whether that means keeping my schedule flexible or packing extra granola bars with me, I don’t ever want to put my own desires over the needs of others.

“Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.”

-Proverbs 21:13

 

How Porn Fuels Sex-Trafficking

This topic might be a little uncomfortable for some readers, but it is important to share.

I did a research project on how porn fuels sex-trafficking a year ago, and it was unbelievably interesting and infuriating at the same time. I will save all my recourses and statistics.. instead, I just want to share the basics.

Did you know that most pornography is made using sex-trafficking victims? Or that most prostitutes are trafficked?

It all comes down to supply and demand. The more pornography viewers there are, the higher the demand becomes. A higher demand means more of the product is needed, and how is more product acquired? By tricking and taking women and children into sex-trafficking. These victims when “ready” are then used to create the porn that those viewers can’t wait to click on.

Now, how does porn demand more prostitutes? Well, there are a few ways to look at this. Someone starts watching pornography and they progress into dirtier and dirtier content… then just like with drugs, they form a tolerance. The dosage just doesn’t do it for them anymore. When viewing is no longer enough, they will want the real thing. That’s where the prostitutes come in. Prostitutes can allow a person to get the real thing of what they have been viewing online. Therefore, a demand of prostitutes is formed.

I also like to look at this through a social interactionism perspective. When a person is constantly viewing pornography, it effects how they view their social worlds. Constantly watching women being treated in this way can make a person feel like this is the norm. The person may then begin mistreating and demeaning women in their own lives.

The pain and trauma sex-trafficking victims go through is unbelievable and completely unreasonable. It is important to realize that you may have a part in their suffering.

For more information check out: Fighthenewdrug.org

I may continue to write more on this subject as time goes on!