Friday, August 11, 2017

Sports/Tech Camp Day 5 - Camp & Elders

Dear Family & Friends,

Our day started bright and early (5:30 am) with an amazing church service. We were all exhausted and questioning why we were up so early, but afterwards no one regretted showing up. It was a crazy experience seeing how different they do church here. The people filled the aisles and worshiped with their whole bodies, they danced and sang with everything they had. It was not just another day at church for them, and it was not just a routine. They were so filled with life and love. What an inspiration it was seeing and hearing these people thank God for all the little things they had. It made us all take a step back and realize how truly blessed we really are.

After church we headed to Grace Village where we spent our last full day with the kids. As I stepped off the tap-tap tired and dreary, I was instantly greeted by two boys who I previously spent time with. They really boosted my mood and made me appreciate the day a lot more. Everywhere they went, I went and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. It being the third day of sport camp--relationships were fully built, and the whole team along with myself felt completely comfortable. It was eye opening to see how happy they are with so little. I couldn't stop smiling all day, my heart has been changed and I will forever remember those two boys.

Next our team made our way into the town of Titiyan to visit the homes of four elders. At each stop we were welcomed into their homes and met all the children playing around outside. We washed the feet of the elderly, rubbed lotion on their hands, sang songs to them, asked questions about their life, and prayed for them. A quote from one of the elderly women was "Pray that I continue growing in faith", keep in mind she was 72 years old and still asking for inspiring! It was extraordinarily special to leave a mark on the lives of the people that can no longer do things for themselves.

Today was so full and so long, but ending the day totally out of energy is a reminder that we gave it our all to the people we served!

God Blesses Always,
(Nicole & Steven)

Sports/Tech Camp Day 4 - Grace Village, Croation Relief

Dear Friends & Family,

On the first day of camp, I met a boy named John who is ten years old and knows little English. Everyone got out of the tap tap and went to join all of the kids who were sitting in the pavilion. Rosalinda, who I had met the previous year, was sitting down at a table and I went and sat next to her. To the right of me was a little boy and his friend. I was listening to the speaker when all of a sudden I had gotten a little tap on the shoulder. I looked over at Rosalinda only to see that she was facing forward and it was not her who tapped me. Looking to the other side, I see a boy facing forward with this look on his face. I point at him saying "you", but he then pointed to his friend saying it was not him. That there was the beginning of our friendship. We didn't talk much due to the language barrier, but we would play and play until it was time to leave. Today, as we arrived at Grace, I am standing on the side looking around when I see John. He then points at me as he sees me and I wave back to him with a smile. A little while later, we were sitting over by the playground playing with rocks sitting in silence. I wanted to talk to him so badly but had no idea how. Then an idea popped into my head. "Why don't I go get my camera so he can take pictures?" I got his attention and motioned for him to follow me. We walk over to the tap tap and I grab my camera and handed it to him. He wasn't sure what to do, so I take it back and I change the language from English to French so he would understand the different words better. John took a bunch of pictures and videos, and then he went through my camera roll. All the way towards the top were all my pictures from my trip to Haiti last year. I had pictures of these two boys who were at Grace last year but were not there anymore. John was at Grace last year, and immediately  recognized the two boys. He started to say things that I could not understand, but he had a smile on his face and then he called over a bunch of other kids and showed them the picture. I thought it was so cool how they all remembered the two boys. Just one picture can bring back so many memories.

God Blesses Always,

Sports/Tech Camp