Day 1 is in the books. It was a fairly easy day all things considered. The base was nice enough to give us a later breakfast so we could sleep and recover a little more from the long journey and we took the morning to get settled in and organize.
We had an unusual (for us) but delectable breakfast of noodle soup bread and they gave a presentation/orientation for the base and the ministries that they put on here at the base that filled up the morning. It was good to be reminded again of all the work being done here and also be encouraged that we are able to play a big part in their student sponsorship program.
If you do not know, Word of Life sponsors about 60-70 kids in elementary school, high school, and college to put them through each year. We bless the students and their families by paying tuition so that they can receive an education to launch them into the world qualified for good jobs. This area was built around “Smokey Mountain.” Many families scavenge for recyclables or any other money-making garbage they can find in order to provide for their families. With a good education, children are able to help bring their family out of that lifestyle and are able to follow their professional dreams.
When I say that Word of Life sponsors students, I mean that YOU sponsor the students. Our Coffee For A Cause donations go directly and completely to these students. So if you have never dropped in some cash or have thought about it or have done it once last year, think about it again and realize that only $10 is about 10% of a full year at elementary school for a child.
Elementary School = $110 a year
High School = $140 a year
College = $600 a year
So now that you know how little it costs to fund a year of school, maybe we can all band together and add more to the number of students that are a part of the program?
Anyway, our ministry for the day was with the High School (7th-12th grade) in the evening. It was a great night. We played games, we worshiped, we had a message, we met new people, and we shared stories with new friends. It is really very similar to a night at any youth group. That is always fun.
Paul led worship and it is always wonderful to hear a room full of students worship in English with us as well as their own native tongue. It can make you feel like a slacker when you only kind of are into it. It was fun to see students from the last trip and see how they have grown and changed in less than 2 years. It gives perspective when you see them again in their own neighborhood, that many of us would be uncomfortable in, and they are still full of joy and grateful for the chance they have to worship together and go to school because of generous people who want them to succeed. They have much less than many, but they also have much more than most because of their love and pursuit of God.
Well, it’s late, the internet is shut off so I cannot upload anything, and we have an earlier and later day tomorrow. Thank you for your prayers and support and we will continue to keep you updated along the way. Good night!