Dear Camp Family,
I hope this finds you well. I pray that your lives are filled with the joy and hope found in Jesus’ love.
I want to share with you a few statements made by families who were a part of our most recent camp adventures:
An HIV+ mother of two who spent months in a women’s prison in Mexico City: We were only allowed to shower once every three days. When we would open the tap, the water smelled like excrement. Periodically groups of men would be allowed in the prison to rape the women. The guards charged a fee to the men in exchange for access.
An HIV+ mother of three who pretended to be too busy to raise her children; she gave them away to an institution which recently found out the truth and forced the kids back to her: This is a very high privilege for us, we never get to go anywhere -much less to such a beautiful place. Whenever I take my kids out they end up crying because I shout at them. I take them to the park and they want what the street venders are selling. They see everything that they want, yet we can not afford. I don’t take them out anymore. I lose my temper very easily and I yell to them a lot.
My kids were thrilled last night because they were able to each have a bed. At home, the five of us sleep on two single mattresses.
An HIV+ mother of three: Why are you so kind to us? Why do you treat us this way? We are just strangers. Nobody lets a stranger in their house anymore. You are treating us so well. What did we ever do to deserve this?
An HIV+ mother of one: We are very grateful for what you do for us. We never get to do anything like this. This is the most beautiful place we have ever been. I wish we never had to leave.
The Director of La Casa de la Sal (our primary partner): This is a place where you can hear God speak. Our hearts are never more open than when we are here.
We are constantly turning evangelists down that visit us at La Casa de la Sal. They are very pushy and, in some way, disrespectful of people’s beliefs. Clark and you have a beautiful way of sharing about God’s love for us. You are always sensitive and respectful; people listen to you when you speak.
This year has been difficult for us. Being here has been a reminder of the relevance of what we do; and for whom we do it (God). Listening to Clark and you is always encouraging, refreshing and inspiring. You are a Blessing to us all.
Several members of the staff from La Casa de la Sal during a renewal sharing time: Today I make a commitment to be more spiritual in my work.
The head nanny of La Casa de la Sal when asked about Elias (one of the first campers we ever hosted; he visited Camp on 3 different occasions. He recently left La Casa de la Sal to go to a different institution that houses people living with HIV/ AIDS. He struggles with mental disability): He is doing well, he was very scared at first. He knows that he loses his temper very easily and he is terrified that he could harm others. He is at a farm, he is happy taking care of the animals. We discovered his love for farm animals here at Camp; we would not have ever learned that without you. The place where he is is very poor. Please pray for him.
A boy who was given HIV by sexual abuse from his father, mother, and their friends who were routinely invited over to participate: Why can’t I just stay here? I could help take care of the animals and do the yards. I just want to stay here.
Thank you for sharing God’s love with these children and adults. I wish you could see their faces when we tell them that YOU -a stranger from a foreign land- have made this all possible. Every brick, every flower, every ton of stone, every meal, every smile, every tear -it all happens because of you.
God Bless you.