The Poverty Simulation, 2012

A year ago, I wrote this post about the poverty simulation I went on as a student on Milwaukee Summer Project 2011.  This year, I did the pov sim again.  As staff.  I was the one who got to obnoxiously knock on a door and wake up the occupants of those who were sleeping, telling them to get dressed and get downstairs.  I got to inspect students to make sure they had THREE items only (example, a ponytail was an item, a sweatshirt over a t-shirt counted as an item).

The whole simulation was so different!  What they did (that staff had them do) was different than what they had us do last year.  Here, it’s been different every year.  The pov sim the students did this year was 24 hours.  They slept in a warehouse for part of the night, then we evacuated them because of rat-infestation.  We brought them back, but an hour later gave them beds for the remaining 6-7 hours of the night.  Yes, the conditions were harsher, but staff was nicer.  We’d mislead them and take away items, but I thought the general attitude of the students was a lot more positive.  They recovered quickly, as well.  Because there are only two guys, we broke them up into groups of five (a guy in each).  As the students were telling us about their day during debrief the next morning, I saw Christ through their encounters and through their revelation.  Tom, a homeless person one group talked to, offered them his food.  He also told them where they could sleep that night and where soup kitchens were located in the city; he was concerned about the girls.  The students bonded together super well; they became a family by day three of project.  They prayed together and encouraged one another.  What Christ did in them and through them amazes me.  I don’t feel like I got as much out of pov sim last year as these students got, but I am learning tons this year, even though I didn’t experience the pov sim first-hand.

God called me back to the city this summer with purpose.  I have gotten to meet many new people I would never have met otherwise.  I have the opportunity to disciple two of the girls.  And, I have been learning (or, re-learning) many things, including God’s heart for the poor.  I finished Jeremiah a few weeks ago, and I started going through Isaiah when I got here.  I read “Generous Justice” by Tim Keller before getting here, and I am just learning tons about what God asks us to do for the poor.  It’s pretty amazing.  I have grown so much in the last year as I look back on it, but I am continuing to grow.  Being here is like adding fuel to the fire.  Jesus is so great and he’s continuing to teach me every single day!

Goooooo Jesus!  Wooooo! =)

Smiling always, Anna =)^2