Bahamas Mission Trip—Day 4
We arrived at Carmichael Evangelical Church at 9. The church bus went to pick up kids from the com-munity for VBS. There were a lot of new kids today that heard from their friends about the VBS. There were around 120 kids today. While some of us checked in the kids, others played soccer with the kids. It was hot but there was a nice breeze every now and then. We reconnected with the kids from yesterday very quickly and formed a relationship with the new kids that arrived. As we sang the theme song, there were more kids singing along and learning the song and motions. It was very high energy and encouraging to see them sing and do the motions with us.
After the introduction we broke out into stations based on the age of the kids. We told the story of The Good Samaritan during the Bible story time and had many of the kids act it out. It was so fun to see them so engaged in the story. We played baby shark endlessly in the music station and that was exhausting. During crafts we had the kids make stain glass hearts out of tissue and contact paper with the Bible verse of the day on it. We also had bead bracelets for the older kids to make. The craft room got so messy because there was tissue paper and beads everywhere. We continued to play soccer, basketball, and frisbee during the recreation station. Samuel’s highlight of the day was scoring a goal in soccer.
After we finished up VBS, we ate lunch and played Uno for probably the 15th time. We picked up trash around the church and then helped the workers install new windows. Part of the work project was mix-ing up the cement and pouring it to set a base for the new windows. Even though we couldn’t help that much with putting in the windows, we provided financial support for the project and hired local workers to help.
We love getting to spend time with the kids and with each other. We are getting to know each other and the some of the kids so well. We hope to make an impact on the lives of the kids and everyone we en-counter. We are looking forward to our last day with the kids tomorrow, but we are going to be sad to leave them.
Bahamas Missions—Day 5
Today we began our day by playing outside with the kids while we set up VBS inside. It was the hottest day of the week which made it hard to be outside for too long as we became dehydrated and drenched in sweat. We eventually made it inside to sing our theme song and talk about our message for the day which was “A friend loves at all times.” We had another great day at VBS with all of the amazing children.
After VBS we went out into the communities to distribute food to come of the families who needed it the most. It was dis-heartening to see the Haitian peoples’ living conditions, but we were so glad to give them a bag of food and other necessities. We walked around the villages with Pastor Croyence (pastor at Carmichael Church) and he led us to families who really needed the food. Once we gave a family the bag of food we prayed with them, which was a very special moment. We were sad that we couldn’t give food to every family, but we prayed for the families who we couldn’t help.
We soon got back to the house we are staying in to prepare for the Community Night at the church. At Community Night, we invited children from VBS, their parents, and others from the community. We had a HUGE turnout! It was hectic and chaotic, but the joy on the children’s faces was worth it. People started arriving at 7 and we all played outside for about an hour until we went inside to talk about what we did that week. It was important for us to share with the children’s parents the stories and lessons that we had taught their children. After we spoke about the week we gave certificates to the children who had been to the bible school. It was very exciting for them to receive a certificate with their name and picture, and to hear their named called for everyone to hear.
After we called everyone’s name we gave dinner to the kids and families. It was chaotic because we couldn’t form a straight line and calm everyone down. It was eye-opening because we got to see just how desperate some people were for an assured meal. At the end of the night we had given everyone something to eat and everyone went home less hungry than before.
Then we went back inside the church to pray for Pastor Croyence and his family. It was a special moment for everyone to show their love to someone who had helped us so much. After the prayer he told us that he wanted to form a club for the children and teenagers that had been coming to bible school, so that the church could provide a place for the children to have fun and keep them from getting into trouble. He hoped that this club would eventually lead to less violence among the teenagers and less desperation for food. We were very excited to hear this and we plan to stay in touch with Pastor Croyence and to keep helping the community.
We ended our night by getting a special treat at Dairy Queen. It was awesome to relax and enjoy our Blizzards. We soon got home and talked about the day and how it impacted us. It was a crazy but amazing day! – Devon and Emma Kate