We spent the first day setting up for the Jamboree and we were blessed with beautiful weather despite the chance for rain. The first night, the families dressed up and we had a contest for best costume as well as a pumpkin painting contest! It was so fun to see the thought they put into their costumes and decorating their pumpkins! One of my favorite costumes was a young boy who was Oscar the Grouch. He had one of this brothers carry him up in a trash can and painted his face green. It was so rewarding to see the smiles on their faces and the way they all came together as one big family.
The Jamboree was a blast and I had so much fun cheering on the teams and watching them get into all the games. It was fun interacting with them as I painted their faces and seeing them smile warmed my heart. The children there don't come to Cookson because life was easy. It's amazing what God is doing and working through that ministry to give them the chance at a better life. To know that they are loved and children of God.
We got to spend the last day hanging out with the families at their home and at church. This was probably my favorite part. Being able to spend time with them, talking, playing, and enjoying each other's company. Things that I imagine weren't a part of their lives before.
This trip touched my heart in ways I didn't know it would. The Lord definitely used this trip to help spur my own healing and continue the work that He has begun in me. Sharing this experience with my teammates and meeting new people from church was also a huge blessing. The time we got to spend together in the evenings, playing games and sharing stories, was truly memorable. I'm grateful for the new friendships I've made and hope that they continue to grow outside of this trip.
Please pray that God continue to bless Cookson Hills and that the children who come there open their hearts to his grace and mercy. I also want to pray for the staff and the parents, that they allow the Holy Spirit to work through them and not grow weary in doing good.
Thank you Lord for all that you do for us and I pray that more families are built up in Cookson to provide hope for other children that need help.