Every spring 2nd Mile hosts teams of college students from all around the country. These weeks are often a rich time of growth for students as they work and live in our community for a week. During these seven days, we invite people to be a part of what God is doing in and through our neighborhood, and learn about themselves, other people, and ultimately God. 2nd Mile has found that these trips can be incredibly transformative and has shaped the trajectory and careers of many students who have come on the trip.
Hear from two students and their experiences while in Jacksonville:
My name is Gabe Ernst, and I participated on a mission trip through 2nd Mile Ministries with a group of students from Asbury University. This was my first time coming to Jacksonville, so I enjoyed getting to know the community. Some of my highlights during the week included helping in the 1st grade classroom at Brentwood Elementary School, participating in the two:fiftytwo after-school program with 2nd Mile, and forming relationships with the adults and kids of the Brentwood community. I enjoyed staying in a host home in the neighborhood we served. This helped me understand how people live and go about daily life in a more urban context. Being able to work with 2nd Mile Ministries was a wonderful experience, and I hope to come back again to serve the community and also let the community teach and bless me!
My experience serving with 2nd Mile Ministries in Jacksonville, Florida was super impactful and one that I will always remember. I learned so much about the urban community of Jacksonville in the short time our team was there, and I have grown to understand and appreciate urban communities as a whole. Immersing myself in such an unfamiliar culture really opened my eyes to what God wants to do within the community, and it was such a privilege to be there in the midst of it.
Working with the kids at Brentwood Elementary was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. I could see the stories behind their precious faces and developed compassion for them. It was such a joy to interact with them, be seen as a role model to them, and help move them forward as they fulfill what God has planned for their lives. It was also a great experience working in the community garden and being a part of street beautification. It was so impactful to see the difference that our team made in Jacksonville in just a week. I loved being able to have meaningful conversations with those in the community and hear their stories. It was amazing to be a part of something that will greatly impact the kingdom of God.