Monday, February 16, 2009

What NOT to Expect

Having gone on several missions trips, I know you can never expect the expected. For example, in India I was the arts and crafts team leader. I was told to expect 40-60 kids at each Compassion CDC. I was also told to expect to have 20 minutes with each group of kids (the groups of up to 60 were to be broken up into 4 manageable groups of about 15.) Lets just say that's not exactly how it went...but that is a good thing. The more kids the better, right?

The day before our first VBS day I was told to expect closer to 100-150. That eliminated several of the possible crafts I had brought along, but we managed. Some of my hard working group members stayed up with me, and we prepped 150 fish and bracelets for the next day.

Once at the CDC we realized that we did not have the space to split the kids into 4 groups, and we happened to be in a dangerous area for Christians, so moving activities outside was not an option.

In the end we had just the right amount of each craft, but let me tell you, having 45 minutes with 75 kids crammed into a tiny room is different than teaching 15 kids for 20 minutes. The kids absolutely loved the fish and the bracelets though, and the day was definitely a success!

Now, lets skip ahead to a few days later. Once again we are told to expect 100-150 kids. Being suspicious, I made sure we had along enough for 200 kids, plus I made the crafts much easier so the kids could do them pretty independently. Praise God, we showed up to the center, and every single child enrolled had come to greet us. We had 357 kids that day! My team quickly ripped the paper we brought in half and broke the crayons to make sure there was enough for each child. They also got stickers, which they were more than excited about. It was amazing to see how grateful and excited the kids were to do something as simple as color pictures with crayons and stickers. Each of the 4 groups that passed through had nearly 100 children, and each child wanted to share with us the picture they made.

All this to say, God's plans are bigger than ours. We were able to bless so many children through simple crafts, and in return I was blessed, more than I could have ever expected.

Oh, and see the beautiful kids in my pictures? Some still need sponsors, among thousands of others. Visit Compassion to find a child who needs you.

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