Gosh, seems like a long time since I have written and entry, but my experience with our school’s grade 9 is worth writing about! At our school, Waterstone College, each grade takes a ‘tour’ in which they go away for 3-5 days. It’s like what we in the US would consider a camp. So, the grade 9s attend camp at J-Life Camp Eden in which we do an African Realities Camp with them. It is to help them become aware of the social, economic, spiritual, health, issues in the continent of Africa.
One of the things I love about getting kids out of their normal environment is watching the change that takes place. Some change is permanent and some just for the week. But speaking God’s truth into the lives of people never comes back void. I’ve been working with teenagers long enough to realize that most of the impact you make in their lives you won’t know about. Teens are very aware of adults whether they appear to be or not. They take in and assess what you are saying and does it match up to what you are doing. We as leaders need to be ever aware. One of the most impactful things happened with two of our boys in our group. One of the kids they were playing with had some sort of seizure or fit. He was taken to the office and the only place for him to rest was out on the grass. The boys gave him some of our lunch and a juice. No one called his parents and the ambulance was too far away to come. A much different picture than what would have happened at Waterstone. It would be much like what would happen in our US schools. Parents called, 911 called if necessary and they would respond quickly. These two boys were astounded by the boy fainting and all it seemed he needed was some food. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t fainted or had a seizure because I was hungry. Ever. So it appears this boy and his family live on less than a dollar a day. Where food is a luxury and school fees are 30 Rand a month, but go unpaid because it is at the bottom of the list of necessities. Heart broken again that I am so blessed and I could have easily been born in a place that poverty was my life. Choices between eating breakfast, lunch and dinner would be taken away from me.
So, what to do?? How as one person do you change the world? You pick your passion or the thing that speaks to you most and start there. It’s not about money all the time. It’s about serving in a shelter, orphanage, or old age home. Start skipping that expensive coffee once a week. Sew. I don’t know what it is for you, but not doing anything is not what we are called to do.