​Service-learning tour participant Gerald Freyenberger cuts brushwood during a workday at Pine Lake Fellowship Camp in Meridian, Mississippi.

By Travis Duerksen
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

​From Mar. 7-14, nine participants and three Mennonite Mission Network staff visited locations in Jackson, Meridian, and Mashulaville with the Mississippi service-learning tour. The tour, now in its second year, visits Civil Rights locations across Mississippi, and connects Mission Network program alumni and friends to service placements, partners and communities across the state. The photos below are a glimpse into the activities during the week. For more information about future service-learning tours, click here.

Barry and Erika Kreider listen intently as Estella Sandweg, a participant with the Jackson, Mississippi Service Adventure unit, explains the unit's 'to-do list.'

Barry and Erika Kreider listen intently as Estella Sandweg, a participant with the Jackson, Mississippi, Service Adventure unit, explains the unit's "to-do" list.

Risa Fukaya, a participant with the Jackson, Mississippi Service Adventure unit, sings a solo at Open Door Mennonite Church while unit leaders Cynthia and Roger Neufeld Smith play accompaniment.

Risa Fukaya, a participant with the Jackson, Mississippi, Service Adventure unit, sings a solo at Open Door Mennonite Church while unit leaders Cynthia and Roger Neufeld Smith play accompaniment.

'This Little Light of Mine' room and light sculpture in the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson.

"This Little Light of Mine" room and light sculpture in the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson.

Cathy Schmid and Mary Grieser clear vines while Gerald Fryenberger hoes plant rows at Jackson City Farm. The garden, one of two managed by Open Door Mennonite Church, produces both food and learning opportunities for community members.

Cathy Schmid and Mary Grieser clear vines while Gerald Freyenberger hoes plant rows at Jackson City Farm. The garden, one of two managed by Open Door Mennonite Church, produces both food and learning opportunities for community members.

Dr. Charles Johnson spoke to the group at Pine Lake Fellowship Camp in Meridian, Mississippi about his experiences as a local Civil Rights activist.

Dr. Charles Johnson spoke to the group at Pine Lake Fellowship Camp in Meridian, Mississippi, about his experiences as a local Civil Rights activist.

The service-learning tour group enjoyed lots of delicious food over the course of the tour, including chicken and dumplings, fried catfish, and collard greens. (Left to right) Mary and Merlin Grieser, Carol Sandbakken, Erika and Barry Kreider, Arloa Bontrager, Susan Nisly, Gerald Fryenberger, and Cathy and Steve Schmid.

The service-learning tour group enjoyed lots of delicious food over the course of the week, including chicken and dumplings, fried catfish, and collard greens. Left to right are Mary and Merlin Grieser, Carol Sandbakken, Erika and Barry Kreider, Arloa Bontrager, Susan Nisly, Gerald Freyenberger, and Cathy and Steve Schmid.

Afternoon sunlight streams through the stained glass windows at Jubilee Mennonite Church in Meridian, Mississippi.

Afternoon sunlight streams through the stained glass windows at Jubilee Mennonite Church in Meridian, Mississippi.

Cathy and Steve Schmid reminisce with Glen and Emma Myers at Jubilee Mennonite Church in Meridian, Mississippi. The Myers spoke to the service-learning tour group about living in community with Choctaw Native Americans in Mississippi. The Schmids served with Mennonite Voluntary Service in Mississippi from 1976-77.

Cathy and Steve Schmid reminisce with Glen and Emma Myers at Jubilee Mennonite Church in Meridian, Mississippi. The Myerses spoke to the service-learning tour group about living in community with Choctaw Native Americans in Mississippi. The Schmids served with Mennonite Voluntary Service in Mississippi from 1976-1977.

Gerald Fryenberger cuts brushwood during a workday at Pine Lake Fellowship Camp in Meridian, Mississippi.

Gerald Freyenberger cuts brushwood during a workday at Pine Lake Fellowship Camp in Meridian, Mississippi.

The service-learning tour group reacts as a timed photo doesn't go as planned.

The service-learning tour group reacts as a timed photo at Pine Lake Fellowship Camp in Meridian, Mississippi, doesn't go as planned.

(Left to right) Carol Sandbakken, Travis Duerksen, Susan Nisly, Barry and Erika Kreider, Mary and Merlin Grieser, Arloa Bontrager, Gerald Fryenberger, and Cathy and Steve Schmid made up the 2020 Mississippi alumni and friends service-learning tour group.

Left to right: Carol Sandbakken, Travis Duerksen, Susan Nisly, Barry and Erika Kreider, Mary and Merlin Grieser, Arloa Bontrager, Gerald Freyenberger, and Cathy and Steve Schmid made up the 2020 Mississippi alumni and friends service-learning tour group.

Burleen Rush, Mary Grieser, Bernice Ramsey, Erika Kreider, and Annie Kelly tie comforters at Mennonite Service Center in Mashulaville, Mississippi. Other workday service activities included planting onions, moving wire fence, and organizing the Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) toolshed.

Burleen Rush, Mary Grieser, Bernice Ramsey, Erika Kreider, and Annie Kelly tie comforters at Mennonite Service Center in Mashulaville, Mississippi. Other workday service activities included planting onions, moving wire fence, and organizing the Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) tool shed.

Larry Miller, with Mennonite Service Center in Mashulaville, led daily tours around historical Civil Rights sites with the service-learning tour group, including the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Macon, Mississippi.

Larry Miller, with Mennonite Service Center in Mashulaville, led daily tours around historical Civil Rights sites with the service-learning tour group, including the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Macon, Mississippi.

Service-learning tour participant Gerald Fryenberger stands in front of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church outside of Philadelphia, Mississippi. After the church was burned down in 1964, Fryenberger traveled to Mississippi with Mennonite Disaster Service to help in its reconstruction.

Service-learning tour participant Gerald Freyenberger stands in front of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church outside of Philadelphia, Mississippi. After the church was burned down in 1964, Freyenberger traveled to Mississippi with Mennonite Disaster Service to help in its reconstruction.

A snack break outside Nanih Waiya Indian Mennonite Church near Preston, Mississippi, was an opportunity for Larry Miller to introduce the group to a traditional "logger lunch" of souse meat (head cheese), hoop cheese, and crackers. Most participants opted for just the cheese.

A snack break outside Nanih Waiya Indian Mennonite Church near Preston, Mississippi, was an opportunity for Larry Miller to introduce the group to a traditional "logger lunch" of souse meat (head cheese), hoop cheese, and crackers. Most participants opted for just the cheese and crackers.

 The group enjoyed one last southern meal Friday evening at Pap's Place in Ackerman, Mississippi, before returning home on Saturday, March 14.

The group enjoyed one last southern meal Friday evening at Pap's Place in Ackerman, Mississippi, before returning home on Saturday, Mar. 14.

 

 

 

 

https://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/A-week-with-the-Mississippi-service-learning-tour-in-photos

Travis Duerksen is a writer and multimedia producer for Mennonite Mission Network.



 

 

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