In my last post, I told you all about Bridges of Faith. I told you what we do and how we do it. But now I want to tell you the stories about these children. I want to tell you how my life has changed working here. So I present an array of pictures and stories to show you what Bridges of Faith is really all about.
At Bridges of Faith, we get many sibling. Siblings are required to be adopted all together to keep the family connection. The two in the picture have a third brother (you you’ll see him later when we head to the McWane Science Center). Watching the boys playing with Lego was magical. Legos make everything better, even squabbling siblings. The amount of pure joy was great to be a part of and still touches me when I look at this photo. They were so happy while they were here experiencing all kinds of adventures. I am privileged to have participated in that joy.
In our down time (which there is truly not a lot of), we like to play games. At BridgeStone, we have ping pong and Foosball tables (and, yes, I do feel like I’m an episode of Friends every time I play). I am absolutely horrible at ping pong but will join in Foosball games with the kids. We also play table top games . Jenga is a favorite of the kids, and they love to make building out of the block seeing how high they can go without falling. As you can see in the picture, they really get into Minion Operation. They over-concentrate and love when the buzzer goes off. The picture shows the older children playing happily with the younger ones. I loved seeing them get along with one another and being considerate of the younger ones.
Water sports was the game of choice and the children quickly learned the English word for “swimming”. We spent countless hours at the pool whether it was at Bridgestone or at other people’s houses. Many generous people threw pool parties and let us stay with them in their home while we were here. The children were figuratively fish in the water. This picture captures our kids in motion. Jumping, splashing and playing , they always had a great time. The day we went to the lake was amazing! We had a blast canoeing, swimming, and riding jet skis. The kids never had a better time.
But swimming was just the beginning of our water fun. One of our amazing volunteers set up a ginormous slip-and-slide! They went head first, feet first, surfing and running down the plastic. To see these children enjoying the same thing I did as a child was for very emotional for me. These children live in an orphanage without enough workers to go around. They don’t get to do a lot of things that I got to enjoy as a child. But here they were slipping on soap and covered in grass having the time of their lives.
Water balloons was another experience we were able to share with the kids. This photo is golden because it shows the group effort it takes to serve these children. Not only are the children present, but you see the youth group that has come to camp to spend days with the children doing a variety of activities and learning Bibles stories. These volunteers clean the site and make food to share with the staff. They are integral to the program. They introduced a variety of games, and while they picked up on the water balloon fight, they didn’t really understand kick ball. The volunteers and children worked together to over come the language barrier and were able to participate in the game. Seeing the youth work with these children and around the camp with an open heart and a giant smile, really gave me hope for the future.
This post is getting long so I will tell you more stories next week! Stay tuned!