Mission Trip–Last Day!

18 Sep

Hey all–

Sorry it took me a while to get back to this. I’ve been pretty busy with school, Bible Quizzing, youth group, Narnia auditions, choir, voice lessons, etc, etc, etc. Anywho. Finally, I present to you: Day Five of my Othello Mission Trip.

“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’

~Matthew 19:14

Once again, we started the morning with a swim (although this time, we didn’t swim ’til 7:00, as opposed to our normal 6:00). We then hung around camp for a while, then headed one last time to “Discovery City”.

We didn’t have a VBS that day, but the kids all came out regardless. For that one short week, we were a big part of their lives–something they could look forward to, someone they could turn to and be sure of being loved.

We played for a long time. I could feel my eyes tearing up occasionally, knowing that all too soon we would have to leave–for good. I tried not to let the kids see the tears in my eyes; I wanted us all to enjoy the time together that we had left.

All too soon, our youth pastor told us that we had to say goodbye. I didn’t start really crying until I said goodbye to one of the girls I had clicked with the most–the most adorable 4-year-old who didn’t know English. Throughout the week, we learned to understand each other pretty well, through Spanglish and lots and lots of gestures. My Spanish-speaking abilities are almost non-existent, although I confess that I learned more Spanish in that one week in Othello than I have in my three weeks in Spanish class so far this year. Anyway, I hugged her and said goodbye, and the tears started falling down my cheeks. She looked at me, an expression of slight puzzlement on her face, and smiled up at me. She seemed to be asking, why are you crying? Kids there are tough–I didn’t see any of them cry except for the little tiny ones. I only wished that I could explain to her, in perfect Spanish, that I had to leave for good, but that I loved her and would miss her sooooo much. But I couldn’t.

I said goodbye to the rest of the kids, and let me tell you, they are so sweet, despite their tough exteriors. Kids I had hardly talked to that week would give me great big hugs goodbye. One of the kids asked our youth pastor if we would come back “every season”, and when he responded that we would think about it, one of the toughest (and biggest) girls there responded threateningly, “You’d better think hard about it.” Just knowing that we impacted their lives so much in that one week made me wonder, if we could have had more time with them, would we have impacted them even more?

Once we got on the bus, one of my friends was crying really hard, and the kids that had gotten close to her that week noticed and actually came into the bus to hug her and comfort her, which of course only made her cry harder. But they cared so much for us, and they knew that we cared about them and loved them for who they were.

But what was more important, that week we taught those kids that Jesus loves them, no matter who they are, what they look like, what they do, and that he loves them enough to die for them. It was so cool to see the positive impact we made on the entire community just by ministering to the children.

“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'” (Matthew 19:14). If we only had the faith and trust that the kids in Othello did in us, our lives would be totally different. We need to believe and trust in God with the faith of a child–a kid sees only the good in someone, and trusts someone they hardly know just based off of how they act around them. We know how wonderful our God is, and yet so many of us, me included, have trouble trusting in God 100%.

Anyway, the half-hour bus ride back to the campsite was…interesting. Most of the girls were crying their eyes out miserably, and the guys were just kind of sitting awkwardly. Once we reached the lake, we sat in a big circle and had a prayer time and devotion time, in which some of us cried even more.

My youth pastor made the point that our separation from these kids may not be forever, that because we taught them about Jesus, we may see them in Heaven someday. And for that, I have been praying ever since. Those kids impacted my life as much as we impacted theirs. Anyway, my youth pastor also said that the separation we were feeling now, only much, much greater, was the sort of separation that God feels when we turn away from Him. The separation he feels with those who are now in Hell, or bound for it.

After devotions; which I only barely skimmed the surface of in this blog, believe me, they were deep and really made you think; we swam for a while, then loaded into the bus for the ride home.

One week. One little week. Five days. In just five days, my life was impacted more than it had been in my fifteen years of life. I will never forget my Othello trip, or the kids, or the culture, or the way that my eyes were opened.

2 Responses to “Mission Trip–Last Day!”

  1. Kayleen February 7, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Wow, girly. That’s tough, and someday, despite the hardship of having to leave them, I hope to experience something like that. It’s beautiful, to impact kids like that, and to be impacted by them as well.

    I love you~

    • paperclip101 February 7, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

      Yeah, it was an amazing experience. I wish I could go back! Lol

      Haha I love you too πŸ™‚ I’m glad you like my blog! I’ll definitely be back to yours πŸ™‚ See ya round!

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