Friday, July 8, 2011

A day with a squatter's camp community...Meals and VBS for over 800

"Today we were greeted by smiling faces at the entrance of the Squatter's Camp. The Squatter's Camp is a community where people live in houses made from sticks, plastic, and old pieces of tin. They had set up a tent and plastic chairs for our program. They were so excited to see us. We gave the people donations including toys, treats, hygiene products, pillowcase dresses, and flip flops. We also fed the people. We prepared enough food for 750. We worked in shifts passing out donations, preparing food, painting faces, telling Bible stories, and making balloons. They loved it! I was asked so many times if we were coming back or when were we coming back. I was hugged and kissed goodbye by so many children and adults. I know they must have felt loved....but so did we!" - Shannon Wilson
"Today at the Squatter's Camp I was awestruck by the people's generosity. They have only what they need to survive, and yet they are not selfish. They helped unload the truck and even brought us chairs to put our food on while we ate. There was one gentleman who asked me to play the guitar. As I was tuning it, a string broke. He started trying to fix it right away, but we needed pliers. He went away for a few minutes and came back with some. Even though I couldn't communicate with him very well, he knew what I needed, and he made sure those needs were met. I came on this expecting to fulfill someone's needs, and we accomplished that. What I did not expect was for someone to do that for me. These experiences taught me that even if you have nothing to give, there is always a way to give more of yourself." - Nolan Brelsford

"The hope of suffering. As I look back on the week, I question how so much suffering can be allowed by a God that tells us that every perfect gift comes from above. If God is so good, why must innocents suffer unjustly? In my limited understanding, it makes no sense. Then I realize that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. However this over quoted verse is little consolation after witnessing such terrible atrocities. He makes things work together for good for those who love him, but what of the orphan, the widow, or the homeless? From the outside, we remain unable to see the bigger picture, but glimpses of it may be seen if we look hard enough. In the great commission we are commanded to be his hands and feet, touching an ever worsening world with the gospel. He has given us the opportunity to be an extension of Christ: feeding the hungry, touching the sick, and loving the unloved. God allows these evils to exist not because he is not just, but because he understands things we do not. In a world devoid of pain, how would we be able to truly know and accept love? We could not and would not. If everything was perfect, we would remain unaware of our need for a savior. But the world is fallen; our only hope is love. It is this love that heals all hurts. This love transcends pain. It gives hope for the raped, abused, and abandoned. This love is the reason we are here. If we can affect one child with the love we have come to know, our trip was more than worth it. Watching the children bask in our affections assures me that this trip is not in vain. At first, the task appears too daunting, the need appears too great. We must understand that we cannot change every life, but we can change one." - Nathan Allison

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