SMI Student Blog

Browse the SMI Student Blog Posts

The blog entries below were submitted by past participants of the SMI program during their time in Philadelphia. There are also some yearly recaps from our Summer Program Director.

From Bullet to Better

Kelsey walked down the street, saying, “We have an appointment today! We have to be at this lady's home at 10 am.” We walked up the stairs and knocked on Rosa’s* door. “Hola! Vengan aqui. Gracias por venir.” (Hello! Come in. Thanks for coming.) After her screen she...

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A Letter to Heaven

Dear Heaven, Meeting you was the highlight of my day. After knocking on a row of unanswered doors, the sight of your sweet smile and sparkly eyes greeting us at the door of your babysitter’s home was refreshing. Thank you for acknowledging us. I enjoyed learning about...

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Wounds

Sometimes it is visible. Sometimes it consumes the mind. Sometimes it is reflected in in their eyes. Through our door to door screenings, this mission trip has shown me painful stories and deep wounds. I saw the hurting gaze of a homeless man with an open wound...

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Beautiful Things Out of Dust

“Okay, which street should we do next?” I asked my partner, Miriam. “Let’s do this one,” Miriam said, pointing to the next block. As Miriam and I turned the street, we immediately saw an old lady sitting on her porch steps on the left side of the street. We approached...

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Glimpses of the Creator

Everywhere I go today, I know there will be people. Particularly here in an urban setting, humanity is inescapable and that can make it seem ordinary – commonplace even. And perhaps because of this, it is all too easy to lose sight of the beauty, wonder, and...

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My Grace is Sufficient

Something that I have consistently found when serving on missions trips is that God always uses the experience to mold and shape the Christian almost as much as (and sometimes more than) he uses the experience to benefit the community. I have been on several trips in...

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All Brokenness Aside

If you could ask any member of my team what they would remember most about the weather of the first week and a half of SMI, I can almost guarantee that they would reply emphatically with one word: HOT. According to the Weather Channel app today the weather in North...

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Grace Flows Down

Grace Flows Down

I could tell endless stories of the names and faces I’ve met this week. I walked into Bethel Temple a week ago, carrying the weight of recent life events with very little idea of what I was getting myself into and the problems plaguing North Philadelphia. This area...

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A Day of Door-to-Door

Friday, June 29th. We had a full day of Door-to-Door outreach ahead of us. We trekked along, soon to be covered in sweat. “Hi, would you be interested in a free health screening?" Over the many significant encounters with North Philly residents throughout the day, one...

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SMI 2018: The First Three Days

When I arrived at the house on Allegheny St. on Saturday morning, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. As soon as I opened the door, though, I already saw people bustling about the kitchen, organizing food supplies and utensils. This was going to be an industrious...

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Urban Hope’s amazing worship

Today was a very busy day at SMI. Many things occurred but my favorite part was the church worship. Worship at Urban Hope, where I was assigned, began around 10:30am. Like the expression “one picture is sometimes better than a thousand words,” I don’t think I can ever...

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Beyond the Walls

Beyond the Walls

What do we see when we look at a city like Northern Philadelphia? What do we think when our eyes glaze over the boarded up row homes and graffiti-laced buildings, or the discarded syringes and empty wax-paper packets scattered across the sidewalks?   I think it's...

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The Physician as Image Bearer

The Physician as Image Bearer

Evangelism. So there is a lot of thinking I still have to do about how to carry this out in my daily medical practice. One concept which I had not really connected to bearing witness to Christ as a doctor – because we will not always receive a good opportunity to...

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Warm and Welcoming!

Warm and Welcoming!

While at SMI, I’ve had the privilege to learn so much about a community which despite numerous tragedies has been welcoming. I am amazed to look into the eyes of someone who doesn’t know me, yet trusts me enough to invite me into their personal space – their home – to...

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