After going on ICO Aliquippa in the fall semester, I knew I wanted to go back in the spring. When preparing for this trip, I kept thinking back to the fall trip and wondering how similar and different it would be.
During the fall trip, we were always busy helping others, focusing on fixing things and meeting people in Aliquippa. We focused on going to the different neighborhoods and housing plans, walking around to hand out food to families and play with little kids. With the kids, we taught them about Jesus, played with them, and did Bible studies with them. A majority of our time was creating relationships and becoming familiar with Aliquippa to then come back in the spring and continue building those relationships.
When we came back in the spring, it felt like we picked up where we left off. We got to see all the people we met in the fall and spend days working and serving with them. Compared to the fall, we focused on being servants and serving others well while building the relationships we created. For a few days, we got to talk with Marie and help repair and clean parts of her house and learn more about her life. This was the most difficult part of the trip for me but also was an important lesson and reminder. Everyone has a different story and some people are not as fortunate as you, but they are the ones who are most joyful and grateful. We also spent time working at Uncommon Grounds Café and food banks, helping serve them in any way that they need. For a majority of our week, we worked with Communicycle, a non-profit organization, repairing and replacing bikes to give them to a kids’ summer camp. We spent a lot of time with Brownie, who helps out at Communicycle, and got to see how much of an impact he has left on people and how God has performed miracles in his life. One of my favorite parts about being on an ICO trip are the relationships and the people you meet and spend time with. We still talk to everyone we worked with during the fall and spring and go back to Uncommon Grounds Café to help them, in anyway they need.
Every night, we took time to talk about our highs, lows, and God sightings of the day. Thinking and answering these questions helped to keep our focus on why we were on this trip, to serve others through God. The fall trip had a positive impact on me but this trip really pushed me in my faith. If you are looking at Grove City College or have decided to come in the fall, I recommend looking into an ICO trip or going on one. Not only do you get to spend time with your peers, but you get to meet so many people in a different area and serve with them while doing it for the glory of God.