Summer is flying by so fast; Four weeks with the kids already! We had an awesome time on our field trip this week, we went to the Drive Game. For some of the children it was their first time going to a baseball game; they were so excited! Before the game, we picnicked in Falls Park in downtown Greenville. Before we ate, we let the kids walk around with a leader and explore the park; they loved it! They were intrigued by the little ducklings and enjoyed walked by the river. After the picnic we all walked to the Drive stadium. When we entered the stadium, the kids were handed noisemakers and then we found our seats. It was such a great atmosphere for our children because they could be loud and it was perfectly acceptable. During the game, a few of the kids discovered a misting machine and everyone suddenly wanted to leave their seats. The kids were dancing in the mist machine and would come up to me with the mist covering their hair and faces saying "Miss Sarah, am I gray?" And sure enough they were! The kids had an awesome time watching the game, playing in the mist machine, eating snacks, and hanging out with all of our volunteers that God provided.
The next night we had a neighborhood cookout that a bible study from Shannon Forest put on. It was awesome for us (interns) to be able to meet the kids parents since we had only met a few, and it was neat for the bible study to meet the people they have been praying for and sponsoring. We had a great turn out! The basketball court was full of kids, teenagers, and adults playing basketball, talking with one another, and enjoy some tasty food.
On Thursday we took the kids to Falls Park again. The kids really enjoy being downtown wading in the water and playing sports. They had a great time and wanted to know when are going back again.
The kids are continuing with their drama class with Miss Laura and Miss Cortney. They have started to create scripts for the play that they will have at the end of the summer. The kids are split up into groups and were asked to create a scene about a perfect day and a terrible day. I am always surprised to see how creative the children are with these assignments. The kids also have created a group poem and enjoy acting games such as freeze. Laura and Cortney are making such a great impact on the children by allowing them to express their feelings in an artistic, positive way. They have also been such a huge encouragement to me by sending me text messages with scripture and encouraging me on days when they could tell that I was drained.
Even though we had a great time with activities this week, it was a draining week. On Monday there were two physical fights before noon and a few of our kids spray painted a bathroom wall at a local church that is generous enough to provide our kids with lunch everyday. The next day was tiring too, but God used it to remind me that I cannot love these children on my own strength. I think some of the most challenging things for me the past few weeks are when the children deliberately disobey and lie to us often. The children have an attitude towards authority and do not like being told what to do/ what not to do even when it is for their own good. And in many different circumstances we have seen that none of the children own up to the things they have done wrong, they will shift the blame to someone else and blatantly lie to us about the situation even when we saw everything happen. God humbles me by reminding me that I often do this to Him, casting blame on others and not wanting to own up to my own sin, and that I should always be obedient to Him and trust Him because his plan is ultimately for my own good.
We have been teaching the children the story of Joseph over the past week during devotion time. The main point that we have been stressing is that even when bad things happen to us that we do not understand, God is still in control and will use that situation for our good. This is a great lesson for us all to learn, but it is definitely applicable to the children because many of them have experienced abuse in the past and many of them have family members or friends in jail.
God has continued to be faithful in providing for our summer camp! We now have breakfast, lunch, and snack provided for the children for FREE for the rest of summer through a church and a non-profit organization!!! God has amazed us so much with how he has provided for the children's needs and answered our prayers this summer! Please continue to pray for the salvation of the children and understanding as we have devotions/intentional time with them. Thanks for your prayers and support and contact us if you are ever interested in volunteering!