Inauguration Day –
The day started off with Lieutenant Smith briefing the team on security measures… we were expecting bigger crowds at the inauguration but fortunately we didn’t get caught in the fray. We watched our jumbotron at the base of the Washington Monument. The screen and sound worked for about 30 minutes then never gave a consistent clear screen and the sound was so broken, there were no complete sentences. It got so frustrating that hundreds of people began leaving. A few of our students began asking to leave as it was so cold and you couldn’t understand what was going on or what was being said. We did see that the President was being sworn in but could not really hear it! It was disappointing.
But wait! There was redemption – Georgetown Cupcakes! After the inauguration we walked to Georgetown, ate lunch and lucky for us there was hardly a line at 33rd and M Street! (don’t tell Mr. Smith I said that)
We came back to the hotel, rested for an hour, then debriefed the Prayer walking, the war memorials and the inauguration!
Debrief: Here are some thoughts the students shared:
Studying for prayer walking the embassies, it was astounding to learn that even though some nations profess to be Christian, there is still oppression towards evangelical Christians – Christians being persecuted by other professing Christians – that was mind boggling! For many this prayer walking exercise was the first time they had really engaged in it, realizing it really works and it is a valuable tool.
As leaders we believe their eyes were opened to the value of prayer walking and praying for others that they would see on the metro or in the moment, feeling like God was giving them a burden for them with specific prayers. That is exciting! Some of the students mentioned God was really changing their perspective on ‘being aware of their surroundings and being used by him through prayer’. One student mentioned that they felt convicted about always trying to find the ‘funny thing’ to laugh at or people to laugh at and maybe God wants him to pray for them, not make fun of them.
Many were moved by the monuments, the meaning behind them and the symbolism used in creating the monuments. Seeing the names on the Vietnam wall and hearing the history was very impactful. The names weren’t just names, they were people that mattered and had families.
The Lincoln memorial was an incredible experience. For the first time, hardly anyone was in the memorial and we got a short guided tour by a Park Ranger. It was so interesting! We read Lincoln’s second inaugural address. During the debrief Mr. Miller pointed out that Lincoln was really addressing people that didn’t agree with him and was trying to convince them they needed to stay together as a nation. Whether we agree or don’t agree with our leaders, God put them in place and we need to pray for them… Which brings us to 2 Timothy 2: praying for those in authority over us so we can live in peace.
Today was the last day to have Thomas and Matthew with us and students and leaders alike commented on what a blessing they have been to the whole group! As alumni, they make Summit proud.
We had a beautiful white linen dinner at the rooftop restaurant at the hotel with a panoramic view of the city. Afterward we changed into our warm clothes and rode the Metro to the station that has the longest escalator in the northern hemisphere!! The kids were really excited and we took lots of pictures, rode up and back down and had a fun time. Don’t believe the kids if they tell you I missed getting off the Metro at our stop and got reprimanded over the loudspeaker for running!
Tomorrow our goal is the Holocaust Museum, a tour of the Capitol and hopefully the Smithsonian. Please pray for us as we finish out our trip that our hearts will be ready for the day and that we won’t miss any opportunities that God has for us to pray for others and glorify Him!