From Geoffrey to you! Heaven on Earth

Thursday April 30, 2009

Heaven on Earth

This last week has been jammed packed! Between the youth camp and hanging with the group from America I have been busy all day every day. I am on my way out to the youth camp right now so this message wont be too long. I just wanted to touch base with everyone and give all of you a taste of what this youth camp provides for these children. Tumaini takes care of about a thousand AIDS orphans, half of them come to this camp and the other half come in August.

Imagine what life is like for these children. They watched their parents die of AIDS, a very slow and grotesque death. If that isn’t traumatic enough, normally the rest of their lives are spent living as the unwanted extra mouth to feed. An aunt, cousin or older sibling may care for them but they aren’t their child, they are more of a annoyance and bother than a blessing. They often don’t receive three meals a day, let a lone a meal everyday. Poverty has consumed their life and has become their identity. These children grow up receiving the worst that life has to offer; they get taunted, mocked, ridiculed and insulted because of their parents reputation or their impoverished state. These children are the unwanted, unneeded, and useless waste that life has spit up.

Now let me tell you about this camp that Tumaini offers. For one week they are loved unconditionally. For one week they receive three meals a day and snacks. For one week they aren’t forced into manual labor, but sports, songs, dances and games. For one week they aren’t insulted, ridiculed, or mocked because of their parents’ death, instead they are embraced and cared for. For one week they have counselors that help them work through the repressed anger, depression and aggression that has been internalized for years. For one week their worries, cries, and concerns are cared for. For one week instead of being thrown off to the side the week revolves around them and they are a priority. The entire year they are abused, mocked, insulted, broken down and destroyed by life and society, but for this week of heaven on earth, they are loved, encouraged, inspired, built up, and restored by Tumaini. This camp is EVERYTHING for these children; the highlight of their year.

A lot of us have gone to winter camp or summer camp. We have some laughs and experience a lot of fun, but that is normally it. Our camp experiences are nothing compared to what this camp is to these children. It seems impossible for our calloused hearts and minds to grasp what this truly means to them. Imagine being imprisoned for your entire life, bound by shackles, kept in the darkest room in the most horrendous facilities, you are beaten and are verbally abused each day. Now imagine for one week a year you are set free, the shackles are gone, the beatings are replaced with embraces, being broken down is replaced with being encouraged, the dark and horrendous facilities are replaced with a warm bed and a cozy home. This is the best comparison I can come up with in some futile attempt to try to articulate what exactly what this camp means to these children. For this entire week a smile from cheek to cheek seems to be impressed on the faces of these children!

I was working the registration desk on Sunday and a young girl, probably about ten years old, came walking up. Instantly two of the Tumaini staff started hounding her and telling her to leave. After a few minutes I think it finally clicked and she stomped off. I found out that this girl wasn’t supposed to be there, her grade goes to camp during the summer. She had come to the Tumaini office the prior week and asked if she can come, they gave her a resounding “NO.” She came another day and asked again, surprise surprise, the answer didn’t change, she still couldn’t come to the camp this week. She asked earlier that day, and once again, her pleads got her another “NO.” She knew the answer, but was trying with everything she had to make it into the camp. All I could think of was how incredible Tumaini is. To think that they have children begging and pleading to come to the camp means that they have created quite the environment. This camp means EVERYTHING to these children, enough for them to try over and over and over again to make it into the camp.

As I have spent my days talking, singing, and playing with these children I have become very aware of how truly incredible this organization is.



Stacy’s wheelchair
My safety
Funds for a generator for Tumaini
My sermons the next few weeks

This random is going to be more of a story. I spoke two days ago about Sex, it went INCREDIBLE! After I was done speaking you could have heard a pin drop in that room, God had ministered to their hearts. The main speaker went up on stage and said he had a song he wanted to teach everyone. He started to talk about all of our private parts and gave hand motions along with them. He could cup his man boobs and say boobs and would grab below the waste and say penis. (two words and motions you NEVER EVER do in Kenya). Everyone stood up and he started to sing and we repeated him. “These are my private parts, these are my private parts….. DON’T TOUCH THEM! DON’T TOUCH THEM!” as we sang we cupped our private parts… it was one of the FUNNIEST experiences EVER! Imagine a few hundred teenagers singing about their private parts. I was crying because I was laughing so hard…. Oh and don’t worry I took video to show you guys.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 30th, 2009 at 12:42 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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