Special Report by Carol Jenkins. (Burma)
It was such a great privilege to be given the opportunity to travel with ActionOverseas to visit the Children's Homes in Burma. I have now visited twice, but the trip has had far reaching impact on many people other than myself.
I run a dance school in Dover and when my pastor invited me on the team, I thought it would be wonderful if the school could be involved in some way. The staff and children really supported the fund raising efforts. Since 2010, the school has raised well over £5,000, which has been used to buy many things for the home, including a TV and DVD, transformers to boost the homes electricity, minibus hire to take the children to church and some teaching for the students. We have performed three shows at my local church, The Ark; each time completely selling out of tickets and also filled over 200 ActionOverseas Pigs with money. I believe God places you in positions where you can use gifts and talents to help others, who maybe do not have all the blessings that we take for granted.
Raising money for Burma has also enabled a strong link between The Ark and my school to develop, a real outreach to people who previously had no link with a local church. It has been a wonderful journey and God has really blessed the step of faith taken.
Travelling to Burma and visiting the 'ActionOverseas Village,' and the Bible School, was a fantastic privilege. On the first visit the home had no light, no running water, no furniture and yet they were so happy. My friend Rachel and myself taught them fun dances, played games and gave them presents bought by children from my school.
The second year it was great to see the home now much better equipped, each child proudly showed us their bunk beds, complete with mattress and pillow, they had a cupboard and a few sets of clothes. A big improvement on the previous year. Each child received an individually wrapped present from a child at my dance school and once again, we spent time with them, this time at the local zoo.....definitely an experience. It was sad to leave, but I am sure I was see them again.
Part of both trips was spent visiting a Bible School. It was wonderful to see the work that God was doing in the lives of these young people and the real commitment in their faith. In a country where they could so easily be arrested and imprisoned they were bold, showing great courage in a nation where Christians are not favoured. We presented some teaching sessions and also had fun days with them dancing and playing games. It was a bit of a surreal experience doing the Okey Cokey, Music Man and other party songs with the students. The teaching days they seemed so quiet and reserved, but the party day was filled with lively vibrant students who simply loved taking part, it was a brand new experience for them and in fact the following year when we went back, the dancing was the first thing they asked to do.
At present the Bible School is housed in tiny premises near to the city, the conditions were pretty bad when we visited, with cramped dormitories, poor cooking facilities and small, hot stuffy lecture rooms. This is soon to change however as a new Bible School is currently being built, located in a rural area which will be so much safer for the students and with great new facilities. The plans for the new school were drawn up by an elder from my church, Steve Green.
I am so grateful to ActionOverseas for the opportunity to travel to Burma, we were prayed for as a team before we went on the first trip, and I was given a prophetic word that it would be a life changing experience.......that it certainly has been in a majorly impacting way. I am hoping to visit again in 2013