2019 BP Sharing by Nathaniel X.

by | Jul 26, 2019 | Youth Boston Project | 0 comments

The Boston Project. What comes to mind when you hear BP? If you asked me last week, I would think of a week of sweat and hard manual labor with only two showers in the entire week. If you asked me today, I would say that BP was one of the most fun, faith-growing, experiences in my life. In the past week, a team 27 youth and 5 adults along with the Boston Project staff helped bring God’s shalom in the community of Dorchester through various service projects such as painting, gardening, taking care of kids, and many more. As all of our t-shirts say, the theme of this week was to see(k) shalom. The short definition of Shalom is everything God desires so the theme see(k)ing shalom is to see shalom and be able to seek shalom and pave a way for others to see shalom as well. So throughout this week I have been able to recognize shalom in the community of Dorchester whether through the kids in Elmhurst park, Miss Elenor, the leader in Nightingale Gardens, or just the people driving by while I was painting a wall of a garage. But where I found the most sense of shalom and community was on wednesday night when the community had its weekly family fun night at Elmhurst Park. The theme for the night was African dancing and drumming and many people had come dressed with their traditional African clothing. After some introductions, the dancing and drumming team asked for some volunteers to go up and dance with them. Being the introverted, shy, asian person I am, I of course did not volunteer and watched my friends and fellows lyfers go up and dance. While watching them embarrass themselves, God gave me a sudden realization of his shalom as I watched a group of people who had no idea who each other were, learn a new dance and culture together. Some were white, some were asian, some were african american, some were old, and some were little children but all of them were awkwardly dancing in front of everyone praising giving glory to God. This is just what I imagined what Shalom would be and what God would desire, all of his creation becoming one and worshipping him together. When a second group of volunteers were called up, I was peer pressured into trying it and I ended up having a lot of fun but I can say that it was a lot harder than it looked. Like any other mission trip, we had to research of the community we would be serving and I found out before BP started serving Dorchester, it was part of the slums and was dangerous to be around. Since then, Dorchester has been a safe, welcoming community where people can raise their children in. While serving in Elmhurst Park, I was able to see the impact that the Boston Project had on the community because before, Elmhurst park used to be a vacant lot where it was dangerous to walk through. Now, it is a place where kids bike to and join the BP summer camp and can have fun and play games with their friends. Helping out and playing with the kids also helped me see Shalom because they were so happy just playing soccer with us and 20 years ago, they would not be even able to even walk through the park safely. In the past week, I think my biggest takeaway was the impact that small tasks can have on an entire community. In just a few years, Dorchester has been completely changed with murals all over the place and a welcoming community. So after BP I want to try to also continue to serve and see(k) shalom in my own community.