Being away from home can make one feel abandoned and miss what’s normal in his life. It is the genesis of a new phase in life which either brings joy or frustration. Today marks a year away from home on expedition of ministry service and leadership training in Camden, New Jersey. The journey has offered immeasurable growth, opportunities and challenges.

Serving at Camp Freedom After-School Program has been both rewarding to me as a leader and as an individual from a different cultural background.  The memories, friendships and bonds created, have surpassed the small challenges incurred over the year.  Greatness can still be attained against unfavorable conditions.  This is possible in the words of my director that “we are at the mercy of each other’s kindness and love”.  Going an extra mile in serving one another with love makes the world a better place. There are no perfect people and in our imperfections as staff and kids, we have still instilled love and hope to one another. This is my biggest lesson from camp freedom.

Spring break trips, thanks giving dinners and summer camp bible buddies were among the rare opportunities that helped me connect on personal level with the kids I serve. I have learnt that the secret of gaining respect and trust is one’s vulnerability to those you care for.  Sharing of Christ even becomes easy at this stage.

As the second year of service starts, my expectation and goal is to get out from my cocoon and embrace any given leadership role to serve the kids better. On the other hand, I am excited to learn more valuables lessons that the kids have to offer this school year. Vera Nazarian wrote “Whenever you go on a trip to visit foreign lands or distant places, remember that they are all someone’s home.” I might be miles away from home, yet the feeling of belonging lies here; for I have a home to enjoy in the present.


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