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Kenya Summer Camp 2007

Project Dates: December 9-16, 2007

A Personal Commentary

by Jeremy Hongerloot

Traveling to a developing country is a very eye-opening experience. It gives one insight into conditions outside of our own nation. It can change one's perspective on life. It certainly did for me when I traveled to the east African nation of Kenya. This trip with the Youth Corps taught me several important lessons. The first lesson I learned was a lesson in patience. From the time we embarked on our journey I learned lessons in patience. The first came when we (Mr. Waddle, Jennifer Pennington, and I) were delayed at least three times before we reached our destination - first in Cincinnati, and then twice in London. We ended up waiting twelve hours in London Heathrow because we had missed our original planned flight to Nairobi. But our delay in the U.S. allowed us all to meet up in London as planned because the group flying with Mr. Horchak had been delayed as well in New York. Were it not for both these delays, I don't believe we would have arrived at the same time at our first destination. I am convinced God worked all this out for us. We were surprised and excited at seeing each other shortly after arriving in London. We were graciously supplied with hotel rooms in which we could rest and refresh ourselves before the next league of our journey. As it turned out, making the best of this delay was not so difficult. At the airport hotel a buffet was at our disposal and free of charge as courtesy for our delayed flight. I can say with certainty (and I feel confident my fellow youth corps participants would agree) that was one of the best buffet meals I had ever had. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise for us. This was a lesson not only in patience, but in the need to look at the positive side of things. While in Kenya, the second lesson I learned was a lesson in self-sacrifice. Traveling to Africa means at times sacrificing one's comfort. We traveled through areas that were not so comfortable and we had to get used to facilities unlike what we are so accustomed to in the West. But it was all worth it for the service rendered to the people we spent five days with at camp. And the final (and I believe greatest) lesson I learned while in Kenya was to constantly count my blessings. I came to appreciate the U.S. more than I had ever in the past. I became ever more thankful to be an American simply because of the countless benefits and blessings we enjoy in a land which God blessed so tremendously.

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