Monday, May 31, 2010

Sierra Leone: Grafton Refugee Camp

Thursday after we visited the hospital, we headed out to a refugee camp.  We were hoping to meet up with a few of the parents of children who live at The Covering.  Although the camp was very similar to the rest of Freetown, it was a blessing for a couple of sponsors to meet their sponsored child's parent.  I think it was a blessing for the parents, too.  There were many smiles and lots of picture taking going on.

The kids in the camp were just like all the rest.  Some clothed, some not...chasing after the white people who were  handing out candy.  Suckers are universal!  It was incredible to see where some of the kids at The Covering came from, and where they are now.   It's really amazing.

Again, lots of tin shacks and a few people try to sell merchandise of one sort or another.  We had to stop for water at one of the little shacks.  I looked out the window of the vehicle to see a dad and a young, school-age boy.  The boy was helping sell the water.  Just before we pulled away, the mom came to the door of their tiny little a legs and trying to wrap her naked torso up in long piece of cloth.

The next stop was at another orphanage called St. George's Foundation.  Last fall, TRS helped to uncover a child trafficing ring where another orphanage was involved.  Many of the kids they rescued then came to St. George's.  The part of the team involved with that previously was looking forward to seeing how those children were doing.  Surprisingly, though, only 3-4 were left.  Later, they found out that all of the rest of them (20+) had been reunited with their families!  Praise God...even on the hardest of days, He provided proof that He is still at work even when it seems all hope is lost.

We fed the kids there before we left and headed back to the hotel.  Thursday was a really hard day for all of us.  Between the hospital and refugee camp, it didn't seem life in Sierra Leone could get any worse.

By this time, several people on our team were sick.  We had one case of malaria, a severe bout of Typhoid and 3 or 4 other miscellaneous fever and stomach issues.  It was not a happy night at the hotel that evening, to say the least.

Grafton Refugee Camp

Kids at the camp

Handing out candy

The kids at St. George's Foundation

Huge bowls of rice to feed the kids

Everyone eating.  They seemed to enjoy it.

Jessie with one of the girls who was rescued from the trafficing
ring last fall.

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