August 16, 2017
Dear Faithful Sponsor:
I took a team of 11 with me in June to the Appalachian Mountains in Inez, Kentucky to provide a summer camp for the children that live in Calf Creek Hollow. It was a very challenging trip and our team worked very hard to break through the barriers of fear, distrust, feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness that have invaded these children’s minds. One older boy “D,” assured us that we were making an impact. In his own words he told us, ”I can’t believe all these children are smiling. I know them and they just don’t smile. They have been through so much and don’t smile about anything!”
Later, “D” began to open up and share some of his darkest heartaches. He said ever since he was abandoned by his mother, he was told by everyone including his teachers that he was worthless and would never amount to anything. He talked about the environment he lived in and how tough it was. He described our team as a light he wanted to be around, but expressed fear that we would somehow be pulled into the darkness of his environment. We had the opportunity to share with him about how the negative messages he had been given were lies and that he was a very special person that had so much potential and was capable of accomplishing great things. He sobbed in response and said no one had ever told him that and gave our team the name of ”God’s Angels.”
Since he was 17, we made him co-recreation leader with Kevin. He ate dinner with us as a part of the team and during the first meal he left the table three times because he was fighting back tears. At the end of the week we presented him with a book of encouragement signed by all team members and a plaque. Several weeks later his dad sent us this note. ”I wanted to thank you and your group for having such a positive impact for “D”. He hasn’t had much external support, but God introduced him to your group and it was a blessing for my wife and me. Thank you very much. I pray God blesses your group to continue with the wonderful works you do.”
This was one child we were able to reach. There were many others. Through history lessons, geography, writing, Bible stories, music, crafts and recreation, we were able to say, “we love you, God loves you, you are special, and your life has purpose.” Needless to say, without your support, we would not be able to impact so many children’s lives who have so little. A life of hardship and poverty can steal hope from so many and keep a child covered in a cloud of darkness. Your support allows us to bring light into those dark places.
So, I thank you with all of my heart and I thank the superb team, each who was willing to pay for his/her own hotel room for the week, his/her own food and transportation and then spend a week giving, giving and giving continuously in order to chip away at the darkness so the children were left with hope.
As you read this letter, l pray that you will again send your ﬁnancial gifts to help these children. The Appalachian and African children both need school supplies. Continued monthly support is needed to keep these children from starving. And… Christmas will be coming soon. Any donation regardless of how great or small is greatly appreciated. Please help us to help these children.
With heartfelt thanks and my deepest appreciation for all you do,
Marsha Grahek, President