I travelled to
Bogotá Colombia on 5th of July 2006 with 'Exodus'. Exodus is a
non-denominational Christian organisation based in Coleraine with
offices in Belfast and Lisburn. The team consisted of 10 people of
varying ages from across Northern Ireland. Meetings were held from
the beginning of February in the Belfast offices in order that we
might get to know one another, gel as a team and so that we were
leaving with adequate preparation and training for the task at hand.
we were working with is called Children's Vision international inc.
CVII was set up by Jeanene Sanderson from Bangor, Wisconsin in 1993.
Her desire was to see the street kids whom she had come to love so
much be given the care and quality of life they deserved. And this is
still her and her husband Richard's dream today. And so we set out to
help her achieve this. Whilst we were in CVII we undertook many
practical jobs such as the painting of the courtyard in the Genesis
house and the painting of the Beginning of Wisdom School. Also
removal of old tiles and concrete in the Exodus house kitchen to
enable a beautiful new floor to be laid.
We were also
involved in the most important job of all, spending time with the
kids and giving them the love they deserve. This was done through
simple things such as taking them to the park, holding a kids club
with craft, games and bible stories and even taking the entire house
of 120 kids and over 50 staff out for pizza and ice cream!
There is no doubt
that this is one of the hardest, most challenging things I and the
other members of the team have every undertaken but definitely one of
the most rewarding. To hear the stories of the lives these children
led before they came to CVII and then to see how their lives have
been changed for the better and to be given the opportunity to be
part of that is simply amazing!
I learnt so much
out there that I pray will stick with me for the rest of my days.
About appreciation of what we have; about the unconditional love
Christ has for us and how we have been called to share that with
others and how we should not be afraid to dream big because 'we can
do all things through Christ who gives us strength'.
In closing I would
just like to thank everyone who supported me so much. By your
prayers, by your financial support and by your constant
encouragement. Thank you for helping me to help others. This is our
commission as Christians to go out and 'preach the gospel to all
nations', this can be done as much through actions as through words!
Thanks once again,