I have been in this country for two weeks now. It has been a great honor to see how these people live and their struggles with things like being homeless, hungry, having no parents, etc. When we drive through town and we see all of the houses made of tin and looking shabby I don’t honestly feel anything. I see it as it is and I accept the fact that this is how people live when they have no money. I don’t judge, and I really don’t think about how it must feel to live like that. It feels like this is where I live and that I have seen this my whole life. I am not affected by the poverty here…until I actually get back to the base and think about what I have seen. I look back at the poverty, the homeless sleeping under trees, the beggers shaking cans, and the orphans who, when not talking to anyone, look so gloomy and sad. It is when I reflect back that I am saddened that I have lived in such a great country that I don’t think about the poor and needy enough. This trip has opened my eyes to the fact that I should thank God every day for the gifts he has given me and how blessed I am to have such a great life.
So far this trip I have done so many things and seen so much. I was touched the most when we fed the homeless on the streets. It was fun to have a competition making the meals the fastest, but actually watching the homeless scurry out of their sleeping spots to dash across the street for some food is so touching. I just can go to the refridgerator whenever I want and grab some food to satisfy my hunger, which, unfortunately, is not often hunger but boredom. But these people may eat only once every few days. Not once did I consider the fact that they may be on the streets because they are addicted to drugs or whatever their problems are. I just saw them as people who needed our help, and who, when they received it, were often so grateful. I was touched the most when one little old lady came to the truck in the middle of a mob of homeless asking for a bag of food. Unfortunately we had just run out, and we had no more to give. She took this fact that she missed another meal during the day so easily. She just nodded, smiled, said “Thank you”, “God bless you”, and blew us kisses. She was so cute and it saddened me that we could not feed her, let alone everyone. But this little old lady gave me courage. If she can handle not having food, then I think I should be able to handle a little bit of extra work or heat or whatever silly little things I complain about during the day.
I appreciate the possibility I have had to come to this country and to see what I have seen and to be encouraged and inspired by the people I have met and worked with here.