On a balmy Florida Monday morning 25 students jumped on the bus and in the van to venture far from home to another county to serve orphans, children in crisis and families in need through the Florida Baptist Children’s Home for iServe 2017.
The Children’s Home, is not just one home but rather several homes thoughtfully arranged on a tree lined cul de sac around a large playground with a traditional white wooden chapel as it’s anchor. That historic chapel with stained glass windows and wooden pews became our home for the week.
From breakfast until supper each day we partnered with the Children’s Home, the Compassion Center and Keeping It Real Ministries “KIRM Kids Kamp”. We split up into groups and took turns serving so that everyone was able to serve in every area.
They accomplished so much in four short days. Serving they :
Unloaded truck loads of food into a freezer.
Unpacked and sorted thousands of pounds of items from CVS and an office supply store.
Organized and rearranged donations on shelves to make them shopper friendly for the families who come in daily.
Taught the ABC’s of Faith in Jesus through VBS songs.
Played games and spent time with over 80 children.
Served lunches to Camp Kids.
Enjoyed dinner and afternoon game time with the children and the adult leaders living on campus.
Weeded flowerbeds of the president’s house.
Loaded a truck with enough dinners to feed 300 families.
Each evening the students shared their highs from the day. From their own pen here are a few of their highs:
When I was teaching the kids the VBS songs they seemed so happy. I was thrilled that I got to share with the kids a part of my life that makes me truly happy. – Hannah
I loved playing with the children and a couple of them got really close to us. For me personally, when any of them captured me with a hula hoop it was the cutest and the best feeling. I was also able to reunite with a wonderful woman, that was a previous summer camp leader of mine, who now works at the emergency shelter at the Children’s Home. – Anai
I loved seeing the kids faces when they saw a bunch of people that were there to love on them. – Tanner
On Wednesday most of the KIRM Kamp Kids went to the pool but some were not able to. We played a lot of games with the ones that stayed behind and they were so happy, they were having so much fun. – Ben
When we went to a movie, the children were so happy that we were there to laugh with them. Also in the gym we got to play with the Kamp Kirm Kids and they were so sweet and just wanted us to be with them at all times. This one little girl would not let go of me, it was so cute. The week was amazing. – Catie
I loved playing and talking with the children, it put a smile on their faces and also made me so happy. – Anabel
This week the youth group has been able to get closer and come together like one big family. When we were asked to work on the Compassion Center to organize all of the donations, the entire group came together and got everything sorted and organized. – Lindsey
It was a week where words like flexibility, humility, love, compassion, sacrifice, teamwork and endurance came to life. It was also a week where Christ’s love was on display through the youth, not just to those they served but to one another aswell.
The Florida Baptist Children’s Home has always been a ministry supported and loved on by our church. The youth are already making plans for a repeat iServe 2018 summer mission trip where we bring our “Game On” VBS to them and the KIRM Kampers!