Thursday, March 10, 2016


On the second to last day of our mission trip though I could easily say that it’s been the most emotionally taxing. There have been a myriad of emotions that have flowed through me today. A specific journey has been of particular importance to the group and myself. Today, we took a car ride throughout West and East Baltimore. Throughout the journey I grew increasingly shocked. That sense of surprise was exacerbated because it was coupled with a wide array of emotions that shifted continuously as the journey progressed. At the start of the trip we began to drive toward the epicenter of the riots in Baltimore that followed the controversial death of Freddie Gray. I was sickened, shocked, and saddened every block nearer to the infamous CVS that the news media reported was burning for hours. We explored neighborhoods that were more economically depleted than any place I’ve ever seen. Rows upon rows of houses sit unoccupied, boarded up, and dilapidated. On almost every corner sat police cars from different Baltimore precincts. Even the streetlights did not work. The Hill District looks like a wealthy neighborhood by comparison. We observed two incredible murals that were done on two buildings in Freddie Gray’s neighborhood. They exemplified the past and present of West Baltimore; a struggle for civil rights and economic equality resulting in a close sense of community and brotherhood. West Baltimore stood in stark contrast to the East. Johns Hopkins University stands at the center of wealthy East Baltimore that has received heavy investment. The massive disparity has left a bad taste in my mouth. The conditions of West Baltimore were completely shocking and truly made me appreciate how fortunate I am in my own life. It has also made me appreciate our own mission work and added a greater -sense of responsibility for us all.

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