Archive for the ‘Camden, NJ 2010’ Category
I’ve realized this week that i am the epitome of ungratefulness. Just a few weeks ago, after my car wreck I was told that I would be getting my dad’s old truck. I broke down in tears when I heard that. The truck was old, smelly, green, and in my opinion it was ugly. I was in hysterics. I realized that I should be grateful that we have enough money to cover hospital bills, that we had insurance, and that I am even alive. Camden has taught me to be thankful.
Friday, July 30, 2010
I can proudly say the I am truly RUINED FOR LIFE!
These post came late from the youth on Thursday, July 29th. The posts are written by Jordan Humphrey and Will Jarrard.
So today I had the opportunity to go to the Abigail House. It is pretty much just a nursing home. At first I did not want to go at all because I am not a big fan of nursing homes at all but once I got there and was all settled in I realized that it wasn’t that bad. I played Trouble with this man named Dave and Callie. I won the first time but he won the other two times. Even though he didn’t talk much you could tell that he enjoyed being with us and just enjoying our company. When Callie stepped out I had no clue what to do so I walked across the room and just stood for a while, then I noticed a man sitting at the table near me so I sat down with him and we just started talking. He told me that he was 26 years old and was born in Camden and had been off the streets for three years now. I didn’t realize anything was wrong with him but he told me that he had something wrong with his brain but he hopes to get better soon. He went on to say that he had not been out of New Jersey in all his years of living. I thought that was so sad because i have been so many places. His name was Walter and he was a great man I hope to keep in touch with him.
After we left we got to go to Philly and just walk around but then we met up with Faith’s friend Fred. He took us around the city and showed us some places where people lived. Once place that has stood out from all the rest was the “undergound” houses. the place he showed us was litterally under a bridge. To any one just passing by you would never notice it but those are images that are imbedded in my mind for life. I chose not to take pictures but it is something i will never forget. He took us back to see the first camp and it was to me so gross. we walked through mud and trees and vines to get to it and when we got there, there was trash everywhere. It just broke my heart. The newer camp however was acctually pretty cool looking. They had set up tents and a couch and all sorts of things that made it look like a home. And even thugh I felt really bad about just walking through their home I realize that they were ok with it and that we are pretty much their voice. Over all today was just a great thing to see because it really opened up our eyes and made this all very really for a lot of us including myself. I realize how much I take what I have for granted and that I could be doing so much more. God Bless and have a wonderful love filled day!
Friday, July 30, 2010 – 12:39 AM
Camden has been amazing! It is nothing that we had expected, and I love it.
Today I went to The Neighborhood Community with Abigail, Caroline Herring, Cristina, Lindsay, Mr. Chrenshaw, and Mrs. Pedan. It is a place that has different service groups such as a Day-Care, Pre-K, Teen Program, and Soup Kitchen. Lindsay, Cristina, and I got to go to the Toddler group today, and it was great! When we walked in the room the kids had such huge smiles on their faces and were thrilled to see us, waving at us and all. The two adults in the room were just as excited to see us, welcoming us in thanking us for coming to spend time with the kids. It was great to know that they were happy we were there. We spent all morning with them then got ready to feed them lunch. While right once we got there lunches ready, we had a fire drill. We didn’t know if it was real or not, so we were all kind of worried. We scambled to get all of the kids outside, then found out it was thankfully just a drill. Once we got back to the room and got the kids settled in, the three of us were called into the kitchen to get ready to help with the soup kitchen. I was in charge of handing out tickets and keeping a tally of how many people came through the line. There were over 130 people coming in the line, some even kids. The workers there said that since it was the end of the month and most of the welfare money had run out it was really busy. Once we were finished there, we left to come back to the Romero Center. Then we went to tour Philly for a while, and had a REAL Philly Cheese Steak. After we ate, one of Faith’s old friends (who was homeless) from her mission year, Fred, took us on a tour of his sites of Philly, like where he used to sleep and his camps. It was unbelievable all the things we got to see. Then we went to a park where we handed out bags of goodies to a group of homeless people waiting in line at a soup stand type ordeal. The people were so great, and wonderful. All you had to do was just start talking to any of them, and they would open right up to you. It is truely God’s work at hand. It was a great day today! Well, hope all is well at home and I miss and love you Mom, Ben, and Joseph! And of course Dad!! Hope you had a great birthday Mom! Love all of you lots!!
Yesterday I had the chance to walk around neighborhoods in Camden to pass out flyers for a program called Hope Works. I quickly realized that the streets were not as dangerous as I assumed, and everyone we came across was friendly and welcoming. It was a great time, and people were eager to hear about the program and how they could be helped. Walking around the city definitely let me realize how privileged and fortunate I am.
Today I had the chance to serve meals at a homeless shelter in Philadelphia. I went with Craig, Graham, Abigail, and Caroline, and we had a great time. Our experience wasn’t complete without aprons, gloves, and hairnets. The men were so friendly and greeted us with gratefulness. Many were very willing to talk with us. I was astonished by their positive attitudes, and it served as a great lesson.
I’m looking forward to the rest of the week, and seeing how God is going to work through us!
I was so happy when Craig asked me to share a little bit on here about how the first night/day went. As one of our first activities, the staff introduced to us a “welfare experiment.” This included us all splitting into different “familes” of three or four, and we were given three dollars each person to use on each meal for our first day in Camden. Each family was also given a certain situation that we had to keep in mind while shopping for our meals. My family (Graham Bunn, Jessica Huffman, and myself) had high blood pressure. This activity definitely opened our eyes and showed us how truly blessed we are back home in Fayetteville.
We ate a big dinner and enjoyed the company, but it didn’t take long for us to dive into our first activity. We discussed welfare and how it helps those in need. This activity was used to show us how many of the people live in Camden. We all were told to bring three dollars with us. After dinner they informed us that we would be using the money at the grocery store to buy food for our assigned families to eat on Tuesday. Our families included three or four people, and we all had a story. Certain groups didn’t have electricity, so they could only buy food that could be eaten without the use of a stove, microwave, refrigerator, etc. One group had a member with high cholesterol and another group had a member with diabetes. We had to buy our groceries accordingly. I was the grandmother of my group and Will and Callie were the teenagers who needed lots of nutrition. We had to combine our money, giving us $9 to buy all of our food for the next day. I didn’t think we would be able to buy enough food, but I was surprised by all the food we could get with the money. However, it was very difficult trying to buy the food to fit our needs within the budget. It seems like it would be a very stressful task for families to do each day. I know that I take grocery shopping for granted. I am always excited to go to Harris Teeter and pick up my dinner, but for many people, it is not an exciting thing to do.
This trip has already taught me so much, and I am so excited to see what God has planned for all of us this week.
During the week we hope to post some of our experiences on this site and share with you some of our stories about how we see God working through our team to share is love, joy, peace and hope to the people of Camden, NJ. May God do amazing and miraculous things that only he can do. May he show us what it means to be one with Christ and empowered by his Holy Spirit.
To God Be the Glory!!!