Written by: Jeanette P.
This week’s summer camp can only be described with one word: heart-wrenching. These have been the neediest kids we have had so far. Many of them do not even have proper clothing.
One of the problems we’ve faced this week is the kids having gastro issues. We have breakfast, lunch, and snack at camp. We have plenty of food so we have allowed the kids to have as much as they want. We didn’t realize that this might cause a problem. Their homes are lacking in food and they are not accustomed to eating three times a day. Some of their bodies have gone into shock and they have been sick. This might also cause a double-shock because after this week they will return to their homes and back to their regular eating routines.
We don’t always get to know the specifics about their home lives or parents. However, we did find out about one five year old girl. She lives in a crisis center with her two younger siblings: a three-year old and three- month old. She does not live in her own home, she does not lead what we would call a regular life. Yet she sits beside me at every meal and tries her best to communicate with me. She’s always smiling, she randomly says whatever English words she knows, and she gobbles down any food you put in front of her. She gives the best, tightest hugs and willingly shares with anyone around her.
One of the boys has barely said a word or interacted with anyone. He sits through activities and participates, but does not really show much emotion. Today we found out he is among the most needy. We don’t know specifics, but know his home life is not a good one. Today, on the last day of camp, he finally smiled and said something to Meribeth- the other One More Child intern. It took him five days to be able to open up enough to say one word. It makes me wonder even more about his home life and the level of distrust he has for the adults in his life.
It has been an honor to put together bags with goodies for the campers each week. Each week we try to think of what each child needs and make sure we provide the correct sizes. However, this week it is extra special because we know these kids are extra needy. This is our last week of the little kids and we had some extra clothes in small sizes. The camp director told is which families are the most needy and would benefit the most. We were able to give those kids a little extra.
I wish from the deepest parts of my heart that we were able to give each child a whole wardrobe, new shoes, or provide them with all their school supplies. I wish I could adopt all of them and give them all the love and care that they need. Though it’s just not possible right now, I know that God is watching over the children and can make the few things they do receive the biggest blessing for them and keep on providing for them.