Last week we had the opportunity to take 10 students from RFIS (Rain Forest International School) to a city in the Northwest Region of Cameroon called Bamenda. During the week our kids worked at a Children’s Home by doing one-on-one tutoring, afternoon VBS, and moving large amounts of dirt at the home’s new construction site. The family that hosted our team also runs the children’s home and has chosen not to call it an orphanage or refer to the children as orphans. It makes since because the ‘Home’ has Ma’s and Pa’s, Aunties and Uncles and a lot of children who have been rescued from terrible situations. It looked like a home and it felt like a home and we were so blessed to serve there.
We were also proud of our students and the way they worked and persevered through some long days. The VBS was led by our students and involved the regular lesson, games, music, crafts, scripture memory. They also tutored the children 2 mornings and worked really hard at the children’s home new construction site. We moved at least 2 truck loads of dirt using shovels, picks, 10 buckets and 2 wheel-barrels. It is so cool to watch MKs (missionary kids) serve and be missional (sans parents!) They were so open to serving and building relationships with the kids at the home.
We did have some free time and were able to go hiking! Wow, the scenery was breathtaking.
I am so happy that our whole family got to go. The Mayo kids were able to see first hand the aspects of the children’s home and the way that our students jumped in and worked. This, of course, made it a little more busy for me but I am so thankful to God that He provided the means for all of us to go.
Jake and Holly Schilinski are the founders of the Helping Hands Children’s Home. They are making a huge impact on the lives of the 31 children at the home (and generations to come.) They also impacted and encouraged our family. We left with some new friends and hopes to return soon to visit the Schilinski’s and the children at Helping Hands. Below is some information about the Helping Hands Children’s Home.
Win Our Nation’s Helping Hands Orphanage was established in Cameroon in April 2009. It’s located in the beautiful town of Bamenda. In a country with many orphans that are neglected and overlooked, there is a huge need for a compassionate, safe, and Christian environment for them. Of the thousands of orphans in Cameroon, many live in extreme poverty, never having a hope of going to school or to be cared for. Many are forced into child labor and with no hope or a future. Helping Hands Children’s Home is a loving place where orphans are raised with the knowledge of Jesus. Our goal is to equip them with all they need to become a successful adult and a contributing member of the society and the Body of Christ. This is done through schooling, Bible classes, hygiene and nutritional classes, tutoring, sports, an unlimited amount of love and allowing them to just “be a kid”.
and here are some photos from our week there…