This is week two of “My Young Adult Years,” guest hosted by Ginny Marie over at Lemon Drop Pie. Each Monday or Tuesday, I will be posting on my Young Adult Life edition of Mommy's Piggy Tales.
Today I'm sharing a huge part of my heart and what has tremendously influenced who I am. I hope you'll bear with me through this. I have so many memories ricocheting around my brain right now, that it will really be hard to choose just a few.
Mont and I had planned to return to Haiti to work at an orphanage, but the 1986 Haitian revolt against the government and Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, made it unsafe to return and the missionaries we were to work with, withdrew their offer. We had already begun raising our support and didn't want to but had to look at another option for the summer.
|Me and Mont - ready to go!|
We were a rag-tag group of 18-23 yr. old kids, about 75-100 of us from all over the US and some from Canada, meshed together in a program founded by Tony Compolo - EAPE. It would take me a very long time to explain everything and what we did, but basically we were counselors/summer interns living in the midst of youth were economically and spiritually disadvantaged. Mont & I soon learned we were not to stay in Philly but would be part of a satellite group of 12 starting up in Camden, NJ. We were guinea pigs of a sort and how we did would determine if it would continue there. No pressure!
|A slice of life of Camden|
Our task: There were two counselors per age group (there were 3 or 4 groups), one counselor per area (art, music, Bible, music, PE) and we had our work cut out for us. Montica was with an age group both summers, Karen (who now works for the GMA and Dove Awards) did a Psalty musical, and I did crafts. My job was to plan and teach a craft each day of camp and it was stretch for me. When I first arrived and walked into the basement that would become my Art Pit for 2 summers, I was overwhelmed. The stage area was PILED with supplies the congregation had been collecting just for us. I was supposed to do something with ALL that stuff and this was before the internet. I had a very small budget and it was difficult to stick with it. Let me tell you, there was not a WalMart just around the corner, it was all K Mart, but it was sparse.
"There ain't no flies on us. There ain't no flies on us!
There might be flies on some of you guys, but ain't no flies on us!"
The bad parts of Camden make the bad parts of Philly look like a playground
|Teaching in the Pit|
Oh, this has been so tough, because once I started the memories came flooding back. If you'll come back next week, I'll try my hardest to tell some lighter, memorable moments, but I'm not making any promises.
If you'd like to check out Camp Hope, it has since grown, and is now called UrbanPromise. Last year they were featured on Extreme Makeover, Home Edition. Where it started from and where it is now amazes me and I'm thrilled that God has taken this ministry from a meager 12 to an organization of mega proportions it is today.
If you would like to read more Piggy Tales from other ladies, hope on Over to Mommy's Piggy Tales. If you would like to join in and start recording your own Piggy Tales, contact Jana at Mommy's Piggy Tales to find out how (jannajoy25 (at) hotmail.com). If for some reason you missed any of my previous posts, you can find them here.