I'm hoping to begin processing some of my trip through our wonderful pictures.
This little boy confessed his love for me and proposed. It was all very sweet and innocent. On face-painting day, he wanted to give me a 'special' message ...
The girls were more guarded then the boys. They took a couple days to open up to us. This picture was taken about 1 hour into our weekend with the kids up at Paddington Camp, outside of Durban.
The kids we worked with were so amazing. I've never seen such unity and a sense of community amongst children so young. Due to the nature of their neighborhood, unity is kin to survival.
This picture was taken on the last day of camp. We had a really hard time saying goodbye to the kids, and many of the kids had a hard time saying goodbye to us. Many tears for all. This was a little boy who was standing outside of the camp chatting with us as we cleaned up.
Both of these boys were so sweet. They had wonderful personalities. It's heartbreaking to think about what a rough life they have in front of them ...
Last day of camp ... the kids had decorated the iThemba Lethu poster all week in their free time. We tried to get as many campers as possible in this picture. Natalie is holding the sign. Jodie and I are in the crowd on the upper right-hand side of the picture.
Final day of camp ... Jodie led us all in prayer.
This sweetie was 100% personality ... and Kinsey captured it perfectly in this picture. This picture was taken the 1st day of camp. We took the kids to the beach (Indian Ocean). It poured-down rain. POURED. The kids didn't care one bit. Fun, fUn, FUN!
This heart-breaker came to camp each day with his older (10 year-old) sister. With no one at home to watch him, she had to bring him with her in order to attend camp. He fell asleep on me each day during his nap. We all took turns taking care of him. He was a very quiet boy, even when awake.
Another younger sibling that had to come to camp due to no one at home to watch her. She was a doll. In this picture, I'm holding her and she's looking over my shoulder at Kinsey. Priceless picture.
I remain unbelievably grateful for organizations like iThemba Lethu who are educating the children of South Africa and spreading the word of God's love for them. Teaching the kids about their positive impact on their community, living a healthy life, and positively influencing others when they are young is imperative. Many of them have already seen, done, experienced and witnessed things we will never witness in our privileged lives in America.
I will forever be changed, honored and humbled to have spent 2 weeks serving with iThemba Lethu and it's amazing employees and youth workers.