Friday, August 07, 2009

Post #3 from the Senior High Mission Trip to Hamlin, WV 2008

Kids Club: We went to West Virginia with the Youth Works organization. The youth g group was split up into different work projects. Me, Emily, Jessica, Amanda, and Ben were put in the kids club group. Our job was to help run the day care/ fun time with the kids of Lincoln County. The day we found out, everyone but Jessica really would have rather not worked with kids. We tried to get out of it and switch but didn’t. During the first day everyone felt that their work would be better used elsewhere.

Then the kids showed up, and we realized that we were put in this group for a reason. Throughout the week we got to know the kids better and started to really grow close to them and realized that our services were truly being put to use in the best way. There were a few kids in particular that we got to know especially well:

DJ: To put it lightly DJ was the problem child. The first day he came charging out of the van started hanging from rafters and punched one of the workers in the stomach.

Clayton: He was the screamer of the group. If he had an emotion he would express it through screaming. Whether he was happy sad mad or just bored he screamed about it. And because he was so cute it helped him get his way.

Mackenzie: He was a guy despite his name. But he was the face of kids club. During skits and songs on the first day even though none of the kids like skits and songs he went up front and led three worship songs.

Logan: She was a girl despite her name and she was Mackenzie’s sister. She was the sweetest kid out of all of them. She never complained about anything and always did what we told her to.

Chris, Dustin, and Trevor: Chris was the oldest. He was eleven. The first day he came up to me and showed me that he was dipping chewing tobacco. The previous weekend he told me his dad taught him to spit tobacco. He also beat up on his little brothers. But he also had a sweet side and would help his brothers out.

Isabelle: She just started going to kids club two weeks before we got there. She was very volatile. She attached herself to one person and never left their side. She was very emotional due to her problems at home.

The first day started out with us waiting for about an hour for the kids to show up. Then the van pulled up with them. DJ charged out hung from the rafters and punched a youth worker within the first five minutes. Then he picked up a board that had nails coming out of it and hit another worker with it. Finally he settled down a bit and we thought we had him under control. Then out of nowhere he slapped his cousin in the face and Beth (A youth works leader) had to take him home. And this entire time Clayton was screaming!

Then I got to meet Logan. She was with Jessica and they were just talking. I went over and got to know her and instantly liked Logan. She then introduced me to her brother Mackenzie and I played on the play set with him. While I was doing that I noticed Chris spitting a lot but I didn’t know why. So I went over and started talking to him and he showed me a can of SKOAL in his pocket. I was shocked because he was only eleven, but doing something that would still be illegal for him to do for another seven years. This was when I started to see how little all of these kids had. None of them came from wealthy families and many of them were forced to grow up at a very early age.

No one was quite ready for that first day but in the following days we got into a rhythm and we didn’t have all that many more problems. Except throughout the week we learned more and more about all of the children and we got to realize that many of them had a terrible home life and that the only constant that they had in their entire life was kids club. We had snack/lunch every day and for many kids that was the first time that they had eaten all day. Some of them took home food so they had something to eat that night. It really helped us realize what a huge service we were providing for these children.

Although at the beginning of the week I dreaded being on the kids club team. By the end I was extremely happy that I got to work and help the kids that I interacted with. I truly felt that I was a huge blessing to these kids. But not only that but they were a huge blessing to me. I got to actually understand how lucky I was and I realized that you don’t need everything you want to be happy. Because some of these kids had barely anything but they were still happy as can be.

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