Yesterday, Shore Student Alex shared his thoughts on the school’s recent ‘Make A Difference’ trip to ICM’s Bacolod base. Today, fellow student Ben examines what the trip meant to him. Our thanks to both Alex and Ben for their insights and hard work.
I distinctly recall the thoughts racing through my head as I boarded the flight. It was a jumbled concoction of emotions… of fear, uncertainty, excitement and pride about the coming days and what we were setting out to accomplish.
We arrived in Bacolod and were greeted by the wonderfully accommodating International Care Ministries (ICM) staff. They offered a brief overview of the extensive work they do to assist the communities suffering from a lack of shelter, financial stability and nourishment. It was truly breathtaking to hear of the time, energy and resources these people so thoughtfully give up in order to make gradual steps to assist these communities to overcome poverty. This was followed by a visit to one of the slum villages, where we were tasked with distributing MannaPacks (fortified food packs) to families, and hearing of their stories. This experience was something I will never forget. I felt such empathy for these people, and felt the urge to do all I could in order to help – and that is exactly what ICM are striving to do.
Over the next days, we got to work on building Comfort Rooms(CRs)/ toilets for three families in a village located near the kindergarten that Shore School sponsors.
Many of these families had children attending the kindergarten, so it was lovely to see that our donations during our Offertory Services at Chapel were making a difference. The Pastor scattered our three groups across the village. We were met with the bright, bubbly and welcoming faces of the family we were building for, and they could honestly have not been more thrilled that we were there.
The family consisted of a mother and father living with their siblings and their partners, as well as their six children. As we built, we began to form a deep connection with this family, as we talked, played games and shared laughs.
Despite the work being grueling and at times very painful, the whole experience was worth every ounce of effort, because the joy and relief it brought to the family and their children was beyond imaginable, and something that will stay in my heart for a lifetime.
I could talk for hours and hours, preaching about the wonderful work which ICM continues to do. I was amazed by every aspect of this trip, by the people, the culture and the many experiences I came away with to make it a trip I could never forget.