We started the day with devotions and worship after breakfast. Felix, our worship leader for the morning, encouraged us to pray for each other during the songs that we were singing. A lot of us were moved and felt the Holy Spirit during the morning. After devotions, the Armour’s kids came for another talk from Caroline and Coach V. Today, their message was from 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, which talks about dedicating your bodies to compete and serve in a way that will glorify the Lord. Caroline talked about running the race with perseverance so that we can have eternity with Jesus Christ. Jager and Blessing also shared their testimonies with the group, which was inspiring for all of us. We then separated into stations with the kids. We introduced some new activities and sports, including American football, capture the flag, ultimate Frisbee, and their favorite: volleyball. After the sports stations, Kyle, Jenna, EJ, and Brian did some very enthusiastic cheers with the kiddos (ex. The banana cheer). We then split up into 4 different session groups led by Team Z. The sessions today were: speed and agility, sportsmanship, nutrition, and yoga. All of the kids paid attention, asked good questions, and seemed to enjoy each of the stations. We were all super pooped after a long and eventful morning. We took a short break to put some food in our tummies and then we were off and running for the rest of the afternoon.
After lunch, Abby split up the kids up into groups. Some of us did home visits with some of the kids from Armour’s and some of us stayed back to do more water filter demonstrations. The rest of the kids went to soccer practice. We were assigned do home visits with two brothers from the Armour’s boys teams. After walking to their home, we were greeted by their step-mother and some other relatives. At the small home that we were visiting, there were 19 people living there. The mother that we had the chance to talk to was raising the boys and their siblings because both of their parents had passed away. Not only was she taking care of the brothers and their 7 others siblings, but she had 6 children of her own. There was only 1 person in the family who was bringing in income for the family. It is very hard for them to feed their family – most of the time they only eat one meal a day. When asked about her life, the mother seemed helpless. She asked that we pray for more years for her so that she may provide for her children. We were all struck by her selflessness, kindness, and strength. However, after taking a glimpse into her life, we were impressed, but also frustrated because we felt like we couldn’t do anything.
After the home visits, we had some down time as a group. Most of us focused on making friendship bracelets for all of the Armour’s kids (80+ kiddos). Others focused on improving their volleyball skills (Coach V).
After dinner we debriefed as a group. This is our favorite part of the day because we all share how we saw God throughout the day and how we were challenged. It’s so awesome to see how friendships are growing and how God is working in each of our lives. Today we focused on how our stories, both before and after this trip, can be an influence to others. We were also encouraged by what Abby had to say about our home visit. She said that even though we feel helpless, “what we have in us is the most helpful.” Food is a short-term need but the gospel is a long-term aid. The fact that God is pushing this on our hearts shows that there is hope for change. What we feel as helplessness is actually hopefulness from God.
We only have one more full day in Choma but are so excited to see what God has in store for us. Life here feels so real and the idea of going back to school in a week sounds superficial. It’s hard to see the necessity of school when we have seen people live this way in their daily lives. We feel like we are needed here.
Mother T(ena) and Eddie