Monday, June 13, 2011

Migrant Camp 2011

As promised, I'm finally writing about our Migrant Camp mission trip from Memorial Day week. This was the 42nd (or 546th) year that our church has sent a group to Baldwin County to minister to the Hispanic population.

Traditionally, we have gone into, well, migrant camps to have our backyard Bible study-style sessions. For the past couple of years, we've been able to send groups into some of the local trailer parks that have a large Hispanic population. However, this year we didn't have as many people going, so we planned to go into our main three camps, Nolte, Childress, and Littles.

Two weeks before we went down, I was texting with one of the kids that's been in Littles for years, and he told me that the camp was shut down last summer after we left.

With very little time, we were able to find a new trailer park in Foley that was largely Hispanic. There were about 80 trailers, so the first thing we did when we arrived was split up to go knock on doors. Many knocks went unanswered, but we met a lot of people and ended up with a large group of kids and youth. A few of the moms also came and spent time with us.

Each night we played games, did arts and crafts, and told Bible stories. We had a great time!!! The Lord also set up a divine appointment for us to meet a pastor from a local Hispanic church on our first night in the trailer park. Pastor Raul brought his praise team Thursday night, and we had a wonderful bilingual worship experience!

Friday we made each person that we'd met a health kit, which is a cloth bag that has a towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and comb. The kids also get a toy. We also get a lot of other things donated, like lotion, jewelry, mouthwash, hairbands & bows, tissues, hats, gloves, etc. We put these items in the health kits according to who we are making each bag for.

During the week, we made a piñata for each camp. Nolte made a peacock. Childress made the red bird from Angry Birds. For the Thompson trailer park, we made a huge piece of Dubble Bubble gum.

On the last night, we lined all the kids up, and they all got to take a swing at the piñata. Ours was made out of poster board (and packing tape)... so they hit it over and over and over.

It never broke.

My brother had to rip it open and dump out the candy for them. The kids went wild!

Before we left, we passed out the health kits and walked all the kids home. It was so hard to say goodbye. The relationships we formed with the kids in the span of just 5 nights is unbelievable. I can't wait to go back next year. Even though Littles is gone and I will miss the people there, I love our new trailer park.

Also, I have to give props to every single person that went this year. It was a wonderful experience to spend a week living with so many great members of my church family. God also built some great friendships with some people that I didn't know too well before we went on the trip. Overall, this was easily one of my favorite years at Migrant Camp.

Here's the video that I made for our share time service that we had at church Sunday night. I hope you enjoy it.

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