Sunday, April 11, 2010

Camps in the Ghetto

In the middle of what seemed like a cement city filled with noise, plastered with dirt, and soiled with the smell of sludge and urine, we held two camps at two different schools this week. I have to say that this week has been incredible. Incredibly difficult, incredibly rewarding, incredibly challenging, and incredibly fun! In total, we had over 600 kids attend the camps. We dragged ourselves out of bed at 4am every morning in order to cross the city and set up on time. We sang, danced, played, listened, laughed, talked, learned, interacted, and ate for 6 days. It was incredible. I am still processing everything. These children live in the slums. They have had to overcome obstacle after obstacle their entire lives. So it made my heart joyful when I saw them with big smiles on their faces and roars of laughter coming out of their mouths. 

We separate into teams and do games every day. It is too much fun as we yell, scream, play, rejoice. Mama Joe (above) just won a competition for her team and the team went crazy!

This is Robert. He is one of my classmates who I have grown to adore. He is soft and tender hearted (which is no surprise since he has 7 older sisters and is the only boy in the family) but he is so good with the campers. He always knows how to make them laugh and get them involved. I enjoyed counselling with him this week. 

I think one of the highlights of my week was serving the kids chicken. For most of these kids, they eat chicken maybe once or twice a year as it is quite expensive. I talked with one boy after the meal and he said with big eyes, "that meal was SO SPECIAL!"

My new friend Dishon (or DC) was quite the character. He too is the youngest of 5 sisters with the oldest being 40 years old. He loved to act and be dramatic. He always gave me a good chuckle. 

Bobbing for oranges. I tried it but failed miserably. The water scared me as I didn't know what sort of germs and yuckies were in there. 

The kids were taught how to do quiet time or personal time with God. Every day we would give them some time to be by themselves and read their bibles. It was precious seeing 300 kids laying around reading their bibles.

Pastor Chris Mwalwa, our Word of Life Director, spoke to the kids every day for bible hour about Responsibility, Showing, and Freedom. The kids had their eyes glued on him. He even spoke their version of swahili which is not natural for him. 

This beautiful girl is ZamZam. She made me smile. Her face just beamed. She was so delightful to be around. 

Like I said, it was an amazing week. My skin didn't like the intensity of the sun and decided to burn but that's all part of it I guess. I am content knowing that Christ was preached and that now for many of these kids, He will be the One they turn to and choose to serve. 

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