144 pounds of materials x 3 villages = 432 pounds: all purchased, packed, delivered, and now consumed by children and teachers who are hungry for knowledge, for books, for reading, for encouragement, for the love of a loving God poured out for them. This is GMH’s Reading Camp, which in now completed for 2021.
What does it mean to grow up poor? Not American poor, but dirt poor… dirt floors, baked dirt walls, dirt roads, dirt for toys, dirt coatings on trees and papers and desks and chairs. Poor enough to need to skip meals, to skip school, to skip learning, to skip childhood, to skip hope? It means that you do not know what a zoo is, even though you live in a land of wild birds and animals. It means that there is no library, no available internet, no way to gain a knowledge of the global society that is humming around the world but not around you.
After a year away due to Covid, Reading Camp 2021 happened. Smiles happened, learning happened, encouragement happened, love happened, hope happened. Love and hope, two powerful, transformative words. 432 pounds of material make a small difference. 432 pounds of materials multiplied by human love and hope multiply that difference tenfold. 432 pounds of materials multiplied by human love and hope, and the love of God, make an exponentially multiplied difference.
The last day of Reading Camp has come and is now fading fast toward midnight. But the thanks of the teachers, the smiles of the children, the hope and the love are not fading, and they will not fade. For me, they will sustain me until next year, the next camp, the next group of children and teachers, the next opportunity to once again purchase, pack, and carry 144 pounds of material per village as a way of bringing the hope and love of Jesus to these dear people, these children who are starving for want of books, and these dedicated teachers who are longing for training and attention so they may improve their craft and the lives of every child they teach.