February/March 2014 - Vol. 72

Detroit – Home Sweet Home
by Mikayla Pardon

After spending my first summer (2012) serving with Detroit Summer Outreach (DSO) and then returning  again in the summer of 2013, I  found many things the same and different. The one thing that remained the same from one summer to the next was my need for Jesus.
Every time I return to Detroit, whether for a weekend or a summer, I feel as though I have stepped into the presence of God. I find myself praying and turning to God much more than I do anywhere else. It is not just that I turn to him during times of need, which are plentiful, but even just doing monotonous tasks. It is a very freeing experience being able to place everything in God’s hands and leave it there. I can truly rest in Him knowing that everything necessary will be provided in due time.

My favorite thing about Detroit is the very real presence of God that is experienced, which did not change over the past 2 summers. What has changed is my task in Detroit. I would say that last summer was my “honeymoon” stage of living in Detroit. Everything was perfect – the Bezalel kids, household, prayer life, and the service. This past summer has been a whole new experience. As staff, I have more responsibility for others, which made for a less-than-care-free summer. My first summer I was just told what to do and when to do it. The roles reversed this past summer when I had to lead and tell others what to do. While leading I was able to experience the other side of the program,  and see how much of the program is truly in God’s hands.
There were daily miracles that made all of the practical aspects of our programs fall into place, sometimes later than we would have liked, but they did. In addition, the added responsibility opened my eyes to all the background work that happens with any program. It made me more appreciative for the people who plan programs that I can just attend in a carefree manner. And even though I was no longer in the “honeymoon” stages, I was still full of joy and grateful to be in Detroit and in the presence of God for a second summer.

Mikayla Pardon is from Imlay City, Michigan. She currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is a student at Grand Valley State University and also works as a substitute teacher.  
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