Have you ever experienced déjà vu and in actuality was reality? This was my experience these past two summers doing Motown Mission Experience at the Joy-Southfield community. I lived in that area during my young adult years where my father pastored a church. It was a thriving Polish Catholic community where neighbors went to Mass every morning and we shared faith together, despite our religious differences. Little did I know that my faith journey would take me back to the “old neighborhood.”
Our youth at Metropolitan UMC raised money to participate in being “missionaries” to the city. We did cleaning, painting, raking yards, putting in new appliances, and talked with our neighbors while working. This past summer, I worked right down the street from where my parents had lived during part of their retirement years and grieved in my heart for what has happened to the deterioration of Detroit. I also felt blessed that God would give me opportunity to come and share faith and works with my former community. Though I was out of my comfort zone for certain types of repair work, I knew God had given me this opportunity to experience change that can take place, both personally and in community.
That is what serving God is all about –change, transformation, and healing in the name of Jesus. I would encourage others to come to Detroit and see what God will do in you and through you. Perhaps your déjà vu will be reality!
Rev. Cathee Miles
Metropolitan UMC, Detroit, MI