Erik: Taking My Training Wheels Off

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Have I ever told you I’m not a morning person? Ask my family and friends, and they can definitely confirm that this is the truth. Interestingly enough, however, I have been waking up by nine every morning for the past three weeks. If you ask my loved ones they will tell you this is a big deal. This is because I love sleep, and once I close my eyes I do not look forward to opening them. Light of the Village and their Summer Bible Camp, however, has stirred something inside of me that gets me up in the morning. Correction, it is not LOV, but the Holy Spirit that truly gives me the energy I need to start the day. I just know that this energy is given to me because of Summer Bible Camp and its cause, which I am now a part of. This cause is to help at-risk children in Alabama Village and other areas of Prichard.

If you’re not familiar with Light of the Village and their summer program I can summarize it like this. Light of the Village is Christ’s house and our home. Some might find this explanation confusing, but to the children that come to LOV it speaks volumes. Many of these children live in homes where food, power, and even water are not always provided for them. Even worse, however, is that almost all of these children lack a full family unit, meaning they live with a single parent or another guardian. Therefore, Light of the Village has truly become these children’s new home. Having lost my father at a young age I understand what it is like to live in a broken home. While I might not have been in the exact same situation as these kids, I can definitely empathize. Because of this, I feel a special connection to both my 7-11 year-old boys (The All Stars) and the rest of the children at LOV.

Week three is officially over, and with it I have experienced new things both good and bad. With only three weeks having gone by, I still have a long way to go in gaining the respect and complete trust of my group of boys. In the mean time, however, with the help of my fellow intern JT, I am learning. JT is ten times more qualified then I, is humble in spirit, and allows me to play a major part in mentoring and watching over our kids. This humble and kindhearted nature is not just found in my fellow intern, but in nearly everyone I have had the pleasure to work with at LOV. This common element alone is enough to show me that the spirit of God is truly with us at Light of the Village. I am proud to say that I am working with a team that is truly Christian and genuine and who I hope to be like.

So how can we as Christians be a positive influence to these kids? By allowing Christ and His light to shine through us and all that we do. This can be done through things as simple as an affectionate hug or giving a child a treat. These children come to Summer Bible Camp seeking love, attention, and a safe environment. We as Christians should give it to them along with God’s words of wisdom. Many believe it is their job to bring these kids to salvation; however, this is an incorrect way of viewing things. Only God through Christ’s sacrifice and love can save these kids. It is just our responsibility as children of the one true King to be the messenger that lets His light and salvation shine through. God Bless and may you all continue to have the Holy Spirit flow through you and everything you do! 

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