november 24 – december 15 , 2009
blog-posting is tremendously overdue. it’s been several months since the ship was in guyana, but i felt it was due its own post, mainly because i has probably been my favorite ministry port in my entire time on board the ship. i celebrated both thanksgiving and my birthday while in guayana, and sandwiched in between the two occasions i was able to head into the south american jungle on a challenge team.
i was on a team with 5 other girls and we spent a week at hararuni girls home, a place for girls who have been abused, abandoned, or removed from their parents for whatever other reason. we were picked up from the ship on an extremely hot day, loaded up a small bus with our luggage as well as boxes and boxes of donated items for the girls – everything from coloring books to pillows to chapstick.
we had no idea what our accommodation would be like, what food we would be eating or where exactly we were heading. we were initially told that we would be building playground equipment for the girls, and i was excited to be doing something completely different from sitting at a desk and running up and down stairs all the time. we arrived at our destination to find that we were staying in an incredible house and had a cook looking after us for the entire week! what a blessing (and what amazing food). we also learned that rather than building the equipment for the playground, we would actually be clearing through jungle trees and shrubs to clear space for the playground… okay by me!
by night (well, evening) we hung out with the 10 girls living in the home. they only had electricity from 6pm-9pm, so we had to use our time wisely. we played games, sang worship songs, colored and shared our testimonies with them to help show them how God had worked in each of our lives. one afternoon we passed out “help packs” that had been put together and decorated by people all around the world and donated to the ship for such a purpose as this one. each girl received a bag of school supplies (if they were younger) or personal items (for the older ones). on our last evening we were able to make popcorn and watch “prince caspian” – the girls were SO excited to have popcorn. by the end of our time at hararuni, several of the girls had opened up to us about the things that were going on in their lives and we were able to spend time in prayer with several of them. i fell hopelessly in love with two of the younger girls, who had completely attached themselves to me by the end of the week.
we were fortunate to not have to leave them behind when we came back to the ship – all 10 girls, plus their house parents, their pastor and his wife, and our cook were all able to come back to the ship with us. we were able to give them all tours and they joined us for dinner before heading back home.
the ship sent out over 100 people on challenge teams in guyana, which means that nearly 300 people weren’t able to go. i feel so blessed to have been given the privilege to be a part of the team i was on and am thankful to have met all of the girls at hararuni and been a part of their lives, if only briefly. pray that we had an impact for God in their lives… they certainly made one in ours.