Through the eyes of the CEO

Each year I venture out with M10 Missions volunteers, I am astounded at the effort, character and heart of the young Stephen Rileypeople we take.  Throughout the year on our training sessions, they were mostly quiet and I did wonder what they were going to be like when we finally got them on location.

The journey across was fine, long but fine; as per usual, in the airports was where they started to integrate with each other.  The team from Filey in North Yorkshire really came out of their comfort zone as they brushed off their inhibitions and sought to make friends with the 37 volunteers they had never seen.

I’m not about to go through each day, however there were moments of the trip that stood out to me.  Whether you are a person of faith or not, these young people really emphasised for me my belief in a living God who loves all people everywhere.  Over two days we took the young people to a dump site, the kind you see on TV where people live and work.  It was a long drive out and no one could second guess what they were about to see and experience.  Upon the entrance to this site, we were ushered away from a particular entrance where it seemed like drug dealers wanted to be.  We took another entrance, on approach there was what seemed like a disused park, the smell was atrocious and the dirt everywhere.  It was hot, extremely dry and hot.  We were taken to a church (well, a barn).  Who would expect a church in a place like this? The request from the church leaders was to go out to the places where the people lived, to give them some hygiene packs, some food and some water.

Oh boy! I don’t think I’ve been anywhere ever and seen teenagers love on the poor and destitute like these.  This isn’t to put a dampener on the work of previous volunteers, it’s just that none of our previous projects compared to this depravity.  I was humbled and moved, seeing and hearing of the acts of love shown by our volunteers – WOW!!

One volunteer was completely blown away as members of the church who had nothing to give in terms of material possessions offered to pray for the team.  This broke the volunteer and for the rest of the day she just cried and cried. “How could they want to pray for us and give to us when we have so much and they have nothing?”

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